Judge Imposes Exceptional Setences In Gang-Related Killing
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) _ Two men convicted of killing a teen-age girl whose wave they mistook for the signal of a rival gang drew 41-year prison sentences - even more than state guidelines call for or the prosecutor sought.
Superior Court Judge D. Gary Steiner said Monday the terms will be a message to those who commit gang crimes.
″Their crime is unique in its enormity,″ he said.
Gregory T. Smith, 18, and Darrell J. Massey, 19, were convicted of murder July 5 in the shooting death of Brenda J. Harris, 17.
They also were convicted of attempting to murder two other occupants of the car in which the girl was riding. The other occupants were not injured.
State sentencing guidelines call for 26 to 34 years; prosecutors had asked for 36 years and 10 months for each.
Ms. Harris, who had no gang ties, was riding with her friends on March 24 when she waved at someone she thought she recognized, police said.
Police said Smith, Massey and two other men associated with the Crips gang pursued the vehicle and opened fire. Ms. Harris was hit in the head by a rifle bullet.
The other men in the car testified against Smith and Massey and pleaded guilty to lesser charges.