SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A teenage gang member who admitted involvement in a shooting last year in Emerald Hills that left a 7-year-old girl and a 21-year-old man wounded was sentenced Friday to 17 years in state prison.
Darryl Williams, 16, who was prosecuted as an adult, pleaded guilty in February to two counts of assault with a firearm in connection with the shooting that injured Martin Barnett and Laura Castello. He also admitted gang, gun and great bodily injury allegations.
Co-defendant Anthony Monta Penn, 19, pleaded guilty to an assault charge and received a two-year prison term.
San Diego police Officer Keith Robinson testified during a hearing last October that a witness told him he saw two males walking by his house on Roswell Street near 56th Street last July 9 around 2 p.m. The witness told the officer the pair walked west on Roswell and shortly thereafter, shots rang out.
Barnett's mother said she was sitting in a lawn chair outside her home on Roswell when she saw two males walk by who she did not recognize.
Not long after her son left to visit his girlfriend down the street, she said she saw a man in a black shirt raise his arm and heard a gun go off.
Barnett was shot three times, twice in the shoulder and once in the arm, and the tot, a first-grader who was playing in a nearby yard, was wounded in the leg.
Another witness said he saw two men walking down the street sharing a bottle of brandy. The witness told police he thought he saw the handle of a gun in the waistband of the person dressed in black.
After the shooting, the witness identified Penn as a man he thought was carrying a 9mm weapon, SDPD Officer Bobby Johnson testified. Police believe the weapon used in the shooting was a .357-caliber Magnum. Unexpended .357-caliber rounds were found during a search of Williams' home, police said.
San Diego police Officer Jacob Resch, the lead investigator in the case, testified that Barnett told him that he saw the two assailants near the home where he was visiting his girlfriend and it looked like they were "having a bad day."
Barnett sensed trouble and tried to get some children playing in the front yard - including Castello - to go inside the home, police said.
No words were exchanged between the assailants and Barnett, but a friend of the victim told police that he heard some kind of gang talk and Barnett reply, "I'm not into that anymore," said SDPD Detective Sgt. Mark Bennett.
Resch testified that Williams initially denied involvement and later admitted having a firearm but said he never fired it. Williams also said he was sorry a little girl got hurt, Resch testified.
The officer said Williams told him that he feared for his life because others had threatened him and his friend.
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