BARRE – The man convicted of killing former Vermont Frost Heaves basketball player Markus Austin was sentenced to 25 years in prison Monday.
Jayveon Caballero was found guilty of second degree murder on November 2019 for the shooting death of Austin in the parking lot of Austin’s Montpelier home in January 2017. The sentencing guideline for second degree murder is 20 years to life.
“As this part of the criminal process comes to a close, I hope this sentence gives Markus Austin’s family some form of justice and some semblance of peace as they continue to pick up the pieces of their lives in the wake of this senseless murder,” Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan said in a news release Monday.
Caballero was convicted of killing Austin in a dispute that escalated from an altercation at a Barre bar in which Austin allegedly struck Caballero’s girlfriend. Caballero later confronted Austin in the parking lot of Austin’s apartment on Barre Street, where he shot him.
Caballero testified that he never intended to kill Austin when he fired into the victim’s car that night. He left town after the shooting and was captured in Florida.
Austin, a high school basketball star from White Plains, New York, played for the Frost Heaves, a professional basketball team that existed from 2005 to 2011 and played many of its home games at the Barre Auditorium. Austin, 33, also worked for the state at the Vermont Psychiatric facility in Berlin. He left behind a young son.