GREENSBORO — A judge rebuked Guilford County residents Monday during a plea deal for allowing senseless violence to happen in the community.
And it was the second time in a week a judge has shown emotion when sentencing a defendant in a murder case.
Dominique Alexander, 41, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the killing of 35-year-old Kenaya Ricardo James and then three days later, on Christmas 2017, committing armed robbery at a Kangaroo Express Gas Station.
Superior Court Judge David Hall sentenced Alexander to a minimum of 25 years in prison, the maximum sentence agreed upon by the defense and prosecutor in the plea deal.
Hall called the case senseless and said if he could he would order every resident and law enforcement official in Guilford County to study this case.
“Something must be done in Guilford County,” Hall said. “The fact that he committed armed robbery just days after taking another man’s life should be another indication of the mindset that has devoured a good part of this beautiful county.”
Hall’s comments came six days after Judge Lora Cubbage scolded a 27-year-old alleged drug dealer for involving a 19-year-old man in the sale of marijuana that ended in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old Western Guilford High School student.
“How dare you pick up and ruin a young man’s life,” Cubbage said, her voice rising and cracking. “We all know how impressionable we were when we were 19. As an adult you had a duty to protect young men and women.”
As Hall listened to Alexander’s case his face turned red, eyes narrowed and at times he clenched his fist and banged it down.
“It’s clear to me that Mr. Alexander is extremely intelligent which makes it even more confusing why he would take someone’s life over something so silly,” Hall said.
Assistant District Attorney Al Hubbard told Hall that James died because of a fight over a prostitute.
Hubbard said that James was working on Dec. 22, 2017, as a pimp at the Super Motel 8 at 204 E. Senaca Drive in Greensboro. He and his prostitute met at the hotel Alexander and Mickey Lee Williams, who tried to entice the prostitute to let him manage her career, Hubbard said.
“He told her that Mr. James was no good and to come with him,” Hubbard said.
Hubbard said James heard Williams and the two began to fight. At some point, Alexander fired a gun that struck James in the back, hitting his aorta, Hubbard said.
Williams, the prostitute and Alexander left and hid out in Rockingham County for several days before resurfacing in Greensboro on Christmas, Hubbard said.
On that night, the men enlisted a third man to help them rob the Kangaroo Express Gas Station at 2522 Randleman Road, Hubbard said. He said that Williams held the proprietor at gunpoint while Alexander took money from the drawer.
The third man told police that Williams and Alexander talked about the killing and that ultimately led to their arrest.
Williams took a plea deal previously for accessory after the fact of murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
James’ wife, Jessica Quiles, spoke to Hall before sentencing and told the judge that James was a father of 8, free-spirited and an outgoing man.
“He wasn’t perfect,” Quiles said. “They grow and people change but taking someone’s life, that’s just unthinkable. He didn’t deserve to die.”
Quiles also talked with Hall about how James’ brother had been killed not long before.
“Not until the last 10 years have I see this outrageous amount of shootings and daily waste of precious people’s lives,” Hall said. “This is silly. A man’s life was taken over something so silly.”