The Reporter (Lansdale, PA)
Victim’s girlfriend sentenced on drug charges
DOYLESTOWN >> The girlfriend who was with 19-year-old Iziah Ramon-Lewis when he was shot to death in 2016 at a Perkasie park was sentenced Monday to at least two years probation, community service and drug and alcohol treatment.
The sentencing followed Cristine Shafer having pleaded guilty in May to possessing marijuana and giving false reports to police at the time of the shooting and, in a separate case, to which she pleaded guilty Monday, possessing heroin and drug paraphernalia earlier this year.
Along with sentencing Shafer, Bucks County Judge Rea Boylan recommended that Shafer get trauma therapy and said family therapy can be arranged if requested.
Prior to the sentence being announced, the court heard from Shafer’s step-mother who said Shafer has support from family and community members.
“It’s gonna take a long time for her to get through her issues,” she said, asking that Shafer be able to continue getting treatment.
“I don’t think jail or anything like that would help her,” she said.
Shafer, 21, of West Rockhill, said she went into rehabilitation after pleading guilty in May to the charges from the night Ramon Lewis was shot, but has had relapses. Most recently, she was in a recovery house, but had to leave because she could no longer pay the rent and was now planning to start another program and live with her parents, she said.
In answer to Boylan’s questions, Shafer, standing with her attorney, Paul Lang, said she had used drugs before Ramon-Lewis’ shooting, but the drug use escalated since then.
In addition to Ramon-Lewis’ death, Shafer said, her brother died in a drunk driving crash. She said she has nightmares and
flashbacks, for which she takes medication.
“You really need to get trauma treatment,” Boylan told her.
The sentence includes four years probation, but the probationary period could end after two years if Shafer successfully completes that time period, Boylan said. The sentence also includes 50 hours of community service and having a drug and alcohol assessment done and participating in treatments, she said.
Ramon-Lewis was a 2016 Pennridge High School graduate and a member of the school’s football team. He was killed Oct. 29, 2016, at Second Street Park in Perkasie in what investigators said was a botched marijuana robbery.
Four teenagers were implicated in the case, with three being sent to juvenile detention facilities after being adjudicated in juvenile court and the fourth sentenced in adult court and sent to state prison. The father of one of the teens was sentenced for hindering apprehension and tampering with evidence in the aftermath of the shooting.
Ramon-Lewis was driving Shafer’s car with her in the passenger seat when the other teens unsuccessfully tried to steal marijuana from him at gunpoint. Ramon-Lewis drove away, but he then returned on foot and was shot in the chest, investigators said.
Money and 17.24 grams of marijuana were found in the vehicle’s glovebox and two baggies found in Shafer’s purse tested positive for cocaine residue, police said. She falsely told officers that the shooting happened after the other teens yelled racial epithets at Ramon-Lewis and that he sometimes sold marijuana, but was not doing so on the night of the shooting, police said.
Following the guilty plea in May, sentencing was deferred until completion of the other case. In that case, Middletown Township Police said Shafer was in possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia when she was found passed out behind the wheel of her vehicle in March. Packaging in Shafer’s possession included “Dr. Death” and “Sky Dance” stamps, Deputy District Attorney Marc Furber said.