KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Vice Lord gang member is facing a life sentence for killing a 19-year-old he mistook for a rival gang member. Jeffery Milton Stokes, 34, was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder and reckless endangerment in the 2015 death of Alan Johnson, 19.
Johnson had just finished working at McDonald’s and was walking down East Fifth Avenue to a cousin’s house. Johnson was shot twice by Stokes, who believed he was a member of the Crips gang, in a hail of gunfire that also hit a home.
Stokes’ car was seen leaving the area within a minute of the first 911 call reporting the gunfire. Knoxville Police Department investigators collected evidence, interviewed witnesses, and located a handgun hidden under the hood of Stokes’ car. Analysis found the casings and bullets found at the scene had all been shot from the handgun found in Stokes’ car. While in custody, Stokes also admitted his involvement to his cellmate.
“Because of the members of the community who came forward, we were able to hold this violent gang member accountable for his actions and take him off our streets,” Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen said.
Stokes has four prior drug dealing convictions in state court. He was also convicted of a federal drug trafficking offense and is serving a 16-year sentence that must run consecutive to his sentence in this case. Sentencing is set for Aug. 13. In Tennessee, life in prison means an offender must serve 51 years before they are eligible for parole.