MARTINEZ (CBS SF) – A 23-year-old San Pablo man was sentenced Friday morning to 14 years in prison for his role in a shooting three years ago that killed a young father outside of a Pittsburg barbershop.
Donnelly Layton Thompson was sentenced in a Martinez courtroom today on a manslaughter charge negotiated with the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office for the slaying of 23-year-old Eric Pree Jr. of Bay Point on July 14, 2009.
Thompson had previously been charged with murder along with his co-conspirator, Brett Richardson, 33.
Prosecutors said that Thompson and Richardson robbed an AutoZone store before driving to Pittsburg to rob the Cuttin’ Up barbershop on East 10th Street.
Armed with a handgun, Thompson entered the barbershop with the intention of robbing it, but was quickly subdued by a barber and a customer, who wrestled the gun away from him, according to prosecutors.
At another barbershop nearby, Pree was getting his hair cut when he heard the commotion at Cuttin’ Up, which was owned by a friend of his.
Soon after Pree headed outside to see what was going on at his friend’s barbershop, gunfire erupted between Richardson and someone from Cuttin’ Up as Thompson fled the barbershop, according to authorities.
One of Richardson’s bullets struck Pree, and the two suspects fled the scene. Pree was pronounced dead a short time later.
Richardson was sentenced to 52 years to life in prison earlier this year.
Friday, Pree’s father, Eric Pree Sr., said he is glad that trials for both defendants are done and he can focus on caring for his 3-year-old grandson, Zion.
A newborn at the time of his father’s death, the boy was inside the barbershop with Eric Pree Jr. just before the shooting, Pree said.
“I’m glad my family can move on, it’s over,” Pree said outside of the courthouse Friday morning.
“Although (Thompson) wasn’t the actual shooter, he was the root cause of everything,” he said.
Thompson, who himself has a 2-year-old son, will be on parole upon his release from prison and must pay $7,000 in restitution to the victim’s family.
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