MARTINEZ (CBS SF) – A Richmond man was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison Friday morning in Contra Costa County Superior Court for the 2008 murder of a longtime friend.
Brian King Young, 24, was convicted of second-degree murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle for the slaying of his childhood friend, 25-year-old Rhonda White of Richmond.
Young shot White several times as she was driving alongside his car on Interstate Highway 80 in Pinole on April 3, 2008.
Young and his co-defendant, 24-year-old Richmond man Aaron Myers, shot at White’s car 14 times, mistakenly believing that the car belonged to someone who might shoot them, attorneys said.
White died after being shot seven times while one of her passengers, then-24-year-old Donnaray Allison, was critically injured.
The defense had argued that Young shot at the car in self-defense, because he thought the people in White’s car would harm him that day.
But Judge Brian Laettner Friday agreed with prosecutor Molly Manoukian’s statement that Young’s decision to shoot at White’s car was a malicious, evil act that took a significant toll on White’s friends, family and community.
“Through your stupidity, you’ve caused so much heartache to so many people,” Laettner said, addressing Young. “This is an egregious crime, it’s a violent and ugly crime and it’s a crime that upset everyone in the community.”
Before handing down the sentence, Young apologized to White’s family members who sat in the courtroom to hear the sentencing.
“I just want to say I’m sorry – I loved her, just like everybody else loved her,” Young said, addressing White’s parents, two aunts and cousin.
Richmond resident Gloria Robinson, White’s aunt, told the judge how Young had been a friend of the victim, who had even invited him to the family’s Christmas gathering the year before she was killed.
“He broke bread with our entire family,” she said, speaking from a podium.
Outside the courtroom, Robinson acknowledged that Young had been apologetic for the killing during the court proceedings, while Myers, who is serving 36 years to life in prison for his role in the shooting, did not show the same remorse.
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