HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The man convicted of gunning down a suspected drug dealer in front of multiple witnesses on Kaneohe Bay Drive three years ago was sentenced to life in prison plus 90 years Monday.
Jerrico Lindsey's mother begged the judge to have mercy on her son, saying he is full of compassion and has strong moral character. Prosecutors disagreed, saying his actions speak louder than words.
He was convicted of pumping bullet after bullet into an unarmed man as multiple people watched in horror. But Debra Butler says her son, Jerrico Lindsey, is not a killer, but a compassionate businessman who used to donate money to public schools.
"Jerrico was raised to love everybody," the convicted murderer's mother told the judge. "He was raised to respect everybody. He was raised to fear God and he is a God-fearing man."
A jury found the 29-year-old guilty of murder, kidnapping, robbery, burglary and four firearms offenses in the death of Benjamin Grajeda, 27. Lindsey maintains his co-defendant, William Freeman, was the triggerman and is appealing the verdict.
"He is not the monster that the prosecutor and people who don't even know him have accused him of being," Butler said.
But prosecutors asked for a lengthy prison sentence, saying Lindsey unleashed at least 22 rounds of gunfire near cars and homes on Kaneohe Bay Drive, putting countless people at risk.
The victim suffered 16 gunshot wounds, before his killer left him on the roadway.
"Walked back to the car, totally cold-blooded," Darrell Wong, deputy prosecutor, said. "This is not the God-fearing man that Ms. Butler testifies about."
"You are not a monster, Mr. Lindsey. Your mom is absolutely right on that," Steven Alm, Circuit judge, said. "On the other hand, you are a cold-blooded killer."
The judge granted the prosecution's request for consecutive sentencing and gave Lindsey a life term in prison plus 90 years. He must serve a mandatory minimum of 20 years for using a firearm.
"Based on your actions that day, you have got to be locked up for a long time to protect the public's safety," Alm said.
Prosecutors say Lindsey, Freeman and Reginald Pettway kidnapped Grajeda after they went to his house to steal money and drugs. Freeman and Pettway named Lindsey as the shooter and are already serving 10 years in prison for their roles.
The woman who set up the drug robbery, Melissa Ordonez, also received a 10-year prison term.
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