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Davenport teen on probation charged with Oct. 25 murder of Lavonta Baker
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Davenport teen on probation charged with Oct. 25 murder of Lavonta Baker

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A Davenport teen who was sentenced in March to three years on supervised probation for numerous felony convictions has been arrested in connection with the Oct. 25 shooting death of 19-year-old Lavonta Baker.

Sherral Jermaine Tolbert, 19, of 1220 Warren St., is charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Baker, 19, of Davenport. The charge is a Class A felony that carries an automatic sentence of life in prison upon conviction.

Tolbert also is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, a Class D felony that carries a prison sentence of five years.

At 10:59 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25, Davenport police responded to a call of someone being shot in the 2300 block of West 2nd Street. They found Baker, who had been shot multiple times, unresponsive in a vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Tolbert was booked into the Scott County Jail on Oct. 31 for violating his probation. He is alleged to have stolen a 2017 Ford Explorer at 7:23 a.m. on Oct. 24. The vehicle was recovered Oct. 25 by Davenport police. Tolbert’s fingerprints were located on the outside of the vehicle and his palm print was located on the gear shift.

As the explorer has a Kelly Blue Book value of $23,618, Tolbert is charged with first-degree theft in that case.

A warrant for his arrest on the murder charge was served at the jail on Monday. Tolbert is being held without bond on the murder charge, and cash-only bonds totaling $25,000 for the new theft charge and the charges for violating his probation.

Tolbert was to serve a term on probation until March 27, 2023, after pleading guilty to charges of second-degree burglary, second-degree theft, and two counts of assaulting police officers. He was sentenced March 27 of this year to three years on probation by Scott County District Judge Patrick McElyea.

The charges stemmed from two events.

On April 17, 2019, when he was 17, Tolbert was found within a block of a stolen 2017 Chevrolet Silverado that had been disabled by OnStar. Tolbert struck two officers as they took him into custody. He pleaded guilty to second-degree theft, a Class D felony that carries a prison sentence of five years, and two counts of assaulting police officers in that case, both aggravated misdemeanors that carry a prison sentence of two years.

On July 8, 2019, when he was still 17, Tolbert burglarized a garage to steal a Honda Civic. He pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary in that case, a Class C felony that carries a prison sentence of 10 years.

On Feb. 21 of this year, when contemplating to accept Tolbert’s guilty pleas, Scott County District Judge Mark Cleve rejected the proposed plea due to the agreement placing Tolbert on probation rather than a term of incarceration.

“The Court reluctantly concluded that the plea agreement was not appropriate because at present the defendant’s conduct has shown that he constitutes a substantial danger to the community,” Cleve wrote in his decision. “Specifically the Court notes that the defendant has had eleven prior juvenile court adjudications, at least six of which would have been felonies if had had been an adult, and four of which involved assaults or assaultive conduct. The Court further notes that the charges he was to be sentenced on included two aggravated misdemeanor assault charges, which were committed less than two weeks after he had been placed on juvenile probation for several offenses which included two counts of assault with intent to inflict serious injury.”

Cleve also noted that while he was awaiting the disposition of the two cases, Tolbert also committed another aggravated misdemeanor assault against a female jailer at the Cedar County Jail.

Tolbert was being held Tuesday night in the Scott Count Jail without bond on the murder charge, and cash-only bonds totaling $25,000 for the new theft charge and the charges for violating his probation.

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