Facing a jury for the second time for a murder charge, an Independence man has been found guilty of first-degree involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action.
Travon Williams, 23, had been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in fatal shooting of Jacobsen Laumoli outside an Independence house party in October 2016. Williams first went on trial last October, but that ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury. Circuit Judge Kenneth Garrett had instructed that jury that if it could not find Williams guilty of second-degree murder, it had to consider involuntary manslaughter.
Under state law, Williams faces up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine. His sentencing is scheduled for March 7. With the armed criminal action conviction, he will spend at least three years in prison.
Williams and Laumoli, 27, had been at parties at neighboring eastern Independence houses the early hours of Oct. 30, 2016. Laumoli and a friend had started to walk away from their party when, according to court documents, the friend was taunted by guys at the other party regarding his Samoan clothing and a fight started on the small front porch.
The homeowner retrieved his handgun as the fight began but never used it. Williams then grabbed the gun and fired twice, according to court documents. Laumoli, who was not part of the fight, was hit in the back. The bullet tore through his lungs and heart, and he died on the street in front of the house.
According to court documents, Williams denied to police that he was at the party, but multiple witnesses placed Williams, whom police identified from surveillance footage and a previous mugshot, at the scene and as the shooter.