LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 16-year-old gang member was sentenced Friday to 90 years to life in prison for killing a 1-year-old boy who was shot as the toddler lay in his father’s arms on a South Los Angeles street.
Donald Ray Dokins was convicted in April of first-degree murder and attempted murder in the June 2012 shooting. Jurors also found true gun and gang allegations against Dokins, who was 15 at the time of the crime but was charged as an adult, City News Service reported.
During Friday’s sentencing hearing, Compton Superior Court Judge Patrick Connolly chastised Dokins, asking him: “Why did you do this? Were you fighting an imaginary war?”
Prosecutors said Dokins rode up on a bicycle and opened fire on a crowd standing outside a South LA home.
Angel Cortez Nava was fatally shot in the stomach as his father cradled him. The father, 24-year-old Mauro Cortez, was hit in the shoulder.
The shooting was gang-related, but Cortez wasn’t in a gang, authorities said.
“These are not your enemies,” the judge told Dokins. “You killed a child. You didn’t shoot that child one time, you shot him twice. And why?”
The day after his son was killed, Mauro Cortez went before television news crews and reporters to ask for the public’s help in finding the shooter. The City Council and the Los Angeles Kings each offered $50,000 rewards for information leading to the assailant’s arrest and conviction.
Los Angeles police arrested Dokins about three weeks later.