Man convicted in fatal Utica shooting gets 25 years to life in prison

Justin Peak, the man convicted of murder in the death of 42-year-old Cleastore Jefferson, has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Posted: Sep 17, 2021 5:33 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- Justin Peak, the man convicted of murder in the death of 42-year-old Cleastore Jefferson has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.

Jefferson was shot multiple times on the 100 block of James Street in Utica on July 21, 2020. Police named Peak as the suspect days later, and he finally turned himself in on Aug. 12, 2020.

Nearly one year after the crime on July 15, a jury found Peak guilty of murder in Oneida County Court.

Peak appeared for sentencing in front of Judge Robert Bauer on Friday, Sept. 17.

“You had every opportunity to not do what you did. Purposely, deliberately, you fired 3 shots into that man's body. This wasn’t murder; this was a borderline execution. There's nothing mitigating about what you did here,” said Bauer.

Peak was also convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in July, and was sentenced to 15 years on that count, to be served concurrently.

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