An appellate court panel has ruled that a Jersey City killer, who smirked at the victim’s family after pleading guilty to a fatal shooting, will serve his entire 20-year sentence.
The panel has made an eight-page decision where they have dismissed the claims made by Jim Hendrix. Jim had admitted to shooting Dyrell Taylor during a robbery on October 14, 2014. He argued that he received ineffective counsel and that the court did not take into account his age at the time of the shooting as a mitigating factor. However, the panel rejected these claims.
At the time of the shooting, Hendrix, who is now 27 years old, was just 18 years old. He faced charges of murder and other offenses, but ultimately pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter.
According to Hendrix, his attorney, Raymond Beam, was ineffective during the sentencing. However, the appellate panel praised Beam’s counsel.
According to the decision, the trial counsel deserves praise for their commendable job in the plea negotiations. They successfully protected the defendant from a potential sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum term of 30 years, had the defendant been convicted at trial for murder.
According to Hendrix, the judge responsible for the sentencing should have considered mitigating factor 14, which states that the defendant was under 26 years old when the crime was committed. However, it is worth noting that this factor was not enacted by the state Legislature until 2020, which was more than three years after the defendant’s sentencing. Furthermore, the state Supreme Court has clarified that this new mitigating factor does not apply retroactively.
The family of Taylor was infuriated by Hendrix’s smile directed towards them after the plea hearing.
Deatrich Taylor, the mother of Dyrell Taylor, expressed her strong desire for justice and closure after the 2016 plea hearing, stating, “I want him to rot. When he killed my son, he killed me. Let him rot.” The heartbreaking loss of her son has left her devastated, seeking solace in the hope that the perpetrator will face the consequences of his actions.
Taylor’s son successfully completed his education at Lincoln High School and has a passion for culinary arts. He aspires to open his own restaurant in the future.
During the sentencing hearing, which took place three months later, Hendrix displayed a more remorseful demeanor. He spoke briefly, acknowledging his wrongdoings and expressing his hope for Taylor’s family to find peace.
Hendrix is currently scheduled to be released on January 5, 2032, with the possibility of parole on October 17, 2031.