N.J. Man Sentenced to 10 Years for Shooting Teen Girl in the Head in Crowded Apartment

Naimah Bell was a freshman in high school when she was killed in 2019

Naimah Bell
Naimah Bell.

A New Jersey man was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for a 2019 shooting in Atlantic City that killed 15-year-old Naimah Bell.

PEOPLE confirms Nahquil Lovest, 20, learned his sentence on Thursday.

He was sentenced on an amended charge of aggravated manslaughter, and must serve at least 85% of his sentence before he can become eligible for parole.

Lovest had pleaded guilty in July 2020 to a charge of first-degree aggravated manslaughter, according to a statement from the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.

He was arrested on July 26, 2019 — the day after authorities say he shot Naimah inside a crowded apartment building. Naimah was found shot in the head shortly after 4 a.m.

Alex Settle, the attorney for Lovest, had previously labeled the fatal shooting an "accident" in an interview with WPVI-TV.

Naimah was a freshman at Pleasantville High School at the time of her death. She was one of the top students in her class.

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The Press of Atlantic City covered a candlelight vigil organized for Bell soon after her murder.

"She'd light up the room when she came in," said friend Niyyah Callaway. "She was beautiful, smart and everyone loved her."

Sanai Macon, another friend, said she was a "comedian" who always wanted her friends to be happy.

"All we did was just laugh and goof around," said Macon at the 2019 vigil. "That's all we ever did. She had a whole bunch of friends, and that's all we ever did."

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