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Monday, February 04, 2013  RssIcon

Update:

Stephon Shannon was sentenced to 28 years in prison for the murder of five-year-old Nizzel George.

Original Post:

Stephon Shannon will be sentenced Tuesday to 28 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in association with a gang for killing five-year-old Nizzel George.

Shannon, one of two teenagers charged last year with firing shots into a house at 4515 Bryant Ave. N, had been scheduled to go on trial Feb. 12 before pleading guilty Friday afternoon. 

Under questioning from his lawyer, Shannon acknowledged that he had been considering the guilty plea for two weeks. He also admitted that police had seized pictures through a search warrant that provided evidence of his gang membership, as well as intercepted incriminating letters he wrote from jail.

Answering his lawyer’s questions with a “yes” or an occasional, “I did,” Shannon acknowledged that on the morning of June 26, 2012 he and a 15-year-old accomplice went to the house to retaliate against members of another gang that stayed at that house. They were retaliating from being shot at by the opposing gang members, Shannon said.

Shannon told the court that he did not mean to kill George, who was sleeping on the couch, when they started shooting at the house from the sidewalk. He agreed with his lawyer that he intended “to do as much damage as possible, including killing someone,” in that house.

“He admitted to trying to hit people in the home, although he could not actually see people and he did not intend to hit Nizzel George,” Deputy County Attorney David Brown told a news conference Friday. 

Two first-degree murder charges and an additional second-degree murder charge will be dropped in exchange for the guilty plea. Brown said the charge Shannon pleaded guilty to is the one which best fits the crime.

By admitting to the charge of murder in association with a gang, the sentence is automatically two years longer than a regular second-degree murder penalty, Brown said.

Proceedings against the other defendant, a juvenile, remain ongoing and confidential.

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