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California woman's murder results in 122-year prison sentence

A 27-year-old California man smiled and laughed during his sentencing following his trial for murder, disheartening the prosecutor and family of the 20-year-old woman who had been shot dead. When given the opportunity to say something to the court as well as family members of the deceased, he thanked his own family for supporting him. After that, he was led away to serve 122 years in prison.

The shooting of the young woman was intended for her boyfriend, prosecutors said, but the defendant's attorney said that a lack of motive and the fact that there was another felon at the scene cast doubt on the allegation that his client was the gunman. The alleged lack of motive related to the fact that although the boyfriend identified the accused as the killer, he told authorities that he had no idea why his client would want to kill him. He had reportedly bought drugs from the accused in the past.

Whoever the gunman was, police said that at least five shots were fired into the car in which the young woman and her boyfriend were sitting. The woman was hit twice in the head. The boyfriend, who also was shot, was able to drive to an area hospital, where the woman died.

Violent crimes, including gang crimes, can happen anywhere. Individuals accused of murder charges, rape or robbery are entitled to representation by an attorney in court. A criminal conviction can mean decades behind bars, so a vigorous defense can be very important in the acquittal of a defendant or at least a reduction in charges and penalties.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, "Judge sends Oakland 'street thug' to prison for life in 2012 murder of Alameda woman", Paul T. Rosynsky, November 15, 2013

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