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The two Queens Crips members whose gang shootout caught 13-year-old Kevin Miller in its deadly crossfire as he was walking home from school three years ago were each sentenced to 50 years in prison Wednesday, the Queens district attorney said.
Miller, a beloved youngster who was a member of Jamaica’s New Jerusalem Baptist Church, was going for a snack at McDonald’s one afternoon in October 2009 after school let out at the Campus Magnet Complex in Cambria Heights.
Crips members Gregory Calas, 21, and 19-year-old Nnonso Ekwegbalu were involved in an altercation with rival Bloods gang members, Brown said.
Ekwegbalu pulled out a revolver and fired at three unarmed gang members who were running away, but his stray bullet struck Miller in the head and ended his short, young life, Brown said.
Another stray bullet hit 17-year-old Pedro Garcia in the leg as he was working at a nearby car wash, the DA added.
After a six-week trial last year, Calas and Ekwegbalu were convicted in November.
On Wednesday, Queens Supreme Court Justice Gregory Lasak sentenced both men to 50 years in prison, terms Brown said were more than fitting.
“Without the slightest regard for human life, the defendants recklessly turned the streets of Queens County into a deadly battleground that claimed the life of an innocent young student walking home from school and wounded a second hardworking teenager,” Brown said. “The lengthy prison sentence imposed today is more than justified and sends a strong message to others who might think of resorting to gunfire to settle disputes.”
Miller’s mother, Donna Hood, has since become an active voice in the gun violence discussion. Earlier this year, state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans) paid tribute to her by dedicating to her part of the Senate’s historic gun control legislation that increases penalties for gun possession.
Calas was convicted of first-degree manslaughter, second-degree attempted murder, assault and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
Ekwegbalu — whose case was heard by a separate jury — was convicted of first-degree manslaughter, assault and one count of criminal possession of a weapon.
Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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