Jefferson Heavner was fatally shot while attempting to help stranded driver Marvin Jacob Lee during a snowstorm in 2016. On January 24, 2018, Heavner heard his sentence.
Marvin Jacob Lee of North Carolina will serve at least 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder and two counts of discharging a weapon in an occupied vehicle.
Lee’s car was stranded in a snowstorm in January 2016. A group of people including Heavner was trying to help him with the stalled vehicle.
According to authorities, the group believed Lee, 29, was intoxicated. They tried to take his car keys and planned to call police, which angered Lee. He fired multiple shots at the group, fatally wounding Heavner.
At the time of the Lee’s arrest, he was passed out in his car.
On January 24, 2018, Lee was sentenced to 14 to 19 years in prison. Victoria Jayne, Lee’s lawyer, said he’ll be credited for two years already served.
Marvin Jacob Lee Leaves Family in Mourning
During the hearing, Heavner’s family was in attendance including his mother, Lena Eidson. According to the prosecutor’s news release, Eidson said, “My boy is gone, and I can’t bring him back. There’s nothing done here today that can change that.”
Jayne confirmed in an interview that Marvin Jacob Lee had been drinking and taking painkillers before the shooting, but he doesn’t remember it. She claimed someone else might have been driving and left her client asleep in the car.
When someone attempted to take the keys away from Lee, he became alarmed and feared for his safety, said Jayne.
According to Heavner’s sister, Jessica, helping stranded individuals on the road during bad weather was normal for him. He would take his truck on the road and help people who had spun out in their vehicles.
“It was something we always did to help out people in the community,” she said.