Wells sentenced to life in beauty shop killing

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Tanaka Jayvon Wells of Detroit was sentenced to life in prison on March 13 before Judge Lawrence Talon, at Third Circuit Court, for the shooting of Dearborn Sunrise Beauty Shop owner Jay Shin, 60.

Wells, 20, plans to appeal, according to court documents.

His accomplice, Ronnie Lamont Matthews, was sentenced to 10 to 20 years Feb. 17, and is in the Michigan Department of Corrections, Lisa Screen, one of the case’s prosecuting attorneys, said. Matthews pleaded guilty to second degree murder earlier in his case.

Wells, 19 at the time of the crime, was found guilty Feb. 16 of first degree murder in the March 15, 2011, shooting of Shin.

Wells also was found guilty in Circuit Court on three counts of armed robbery and felony firearm for stealing 80 hair extensions (valued between $120 and $135 each) and robbing two customers during the crime.

Both men were arrested March 18, 2011, following an investigation that included the Detroit Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Joint Law Enforcement Violent Offender Task Force.

During Wells’ sentencing, Shin’s wife, Margaret; daughter, Nellie Harry; and son-in-law, Christopher, were in attendance, with tears in their eyes as Screen read a statement from Harry.

“My father was the hardest working man I have ever met,” the letter said. “My brother, sister and I would not be the people we are today without him … almost a year has passed since the murder but it feels like yesterday.”

Wells addressed the court, saying he felt bad for the Shin’s loss.

“I can’t imagine if my father got killed …,” he said before a silent courtroom. “One day I hope they find out the truth.”

The court ordered $23,200 in restitution from Wells for the Shin family’s financial and emotional loss, Screen said.

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at skolade@bewickpublications.com)