TORRANCE, Calif.–The getaway driver in a deadly 2009 shooting in unincorporated Lennox was sentenced today to 50 years to life in state prison.
Helen Spry, 25–along with her co-defendants, gang members DeAndre Riser and Olton Drake–were convicted of one count of first-degree murder and eight counts of attempted murder for the April 29, 2009, shooting in the 10800 block of Inglewood Avenue that killed Amador Cendejas-Cortes, 59, and wounded five other people.
On Nov. 6, Riser, who was the gunman, was sentenced to 395 years to life, and Drake was ordered to serve 338 years and eight months to life in state prison.
Defense attorney Ludlow Creary argued during trial that Spry, who was not a gang member, had been duped into acting as the getaway driver.
In handing down the sentence today, Torrance Superior Court Judge Mark Arnold ordered that Spry could serve her time on each count concurrently, rather than consecutively like Riser and Drake. That means Spry could be eligible for parole in her 70s, after serving 50 years behind bars, while Riser
and Drake have no possibility of parole.
“I disagree with the court’s imposition of concurrent sentences, but I understand and respect where the court is coming from,” Deputy District Attorney Teresa Magno said.
Magno called the attack “horrific in terms of the sheer number of people who were shot.” About 20 people–“all civilians”–were standing near a taco truck when Riser opened fire, according to Magno.
One of the wounded was a boy who was shot at the base of the neck.
There had been a fight earlier that day in Riser and Drake’s own gang territory, and the taco truck was on rival gang turf.
“The evidence showed that when he (Riser) got out of the car, his purpose was to shoot and kill every person who was standing next to the taco truck,” the prosecutor said when Riser was sentenced. Each of the shots he fired hit someone and the gun–recovered nearby–jammed.
Creary said he planned to file an appeal.