A 22-year-old man was sentenced last week to four years plus life in state prison without the possibility of parole, for fatally stabbing a 62-year-old woman as she walked home after buying groceries in 2014, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
A jury found Kenyata Blake guilty on April 15, of one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree robbery. Jurors also found true a special circumstance allegation that the murder was committed during a robbery and an allegation that the defendant used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife.
The judge in the case, Mark Arnold, expressed anger at Blake during his sentencing, calling Blake “a predator and a coward.”
Deputy District Attorneys Brian Chang and Kevin Keeland of the Hardcore Gang Division prosecuted the case, which also named Blake’s twin brother, Keishon, of participating – he is facing the same charges as his Kenyata.
The jury deliberated less than two hours before coming back with its verdict of guilty on all counts. Arnold ordered Kenyata held without bail, until the sentencing, which took place May 2.
On Dec. 22, 2014, Maria Elena Rivas, an elderly seamstress, was walking home after she finished buying groceries for Christmas in the Adams-Normandie area when Blake attacked her. Rivas was fatally stabbed and her handbag was stolen. The brothers were each charged with one count of murder and two counts of second-degree robbery.
According to Chang, Kenyata laughed about it and bragged about the crime to his adopted sister. However, Blake’s attorney asked for leniency, saying Kenyata was only 18 at the time and “not unlike many other troubled youth. Their judgment is poor or nonexistent often times.” Judge Arnold, however, would have none of it.
“There are many people in the inner city who are young and don’t commit the cowardly types of crimes that this defendant has committed,” the judge said, before ordering a bailiff to take Blake away.