Daily Mail reports:
A second man convicted in the fatal shooting of a five-year-old girl as she sat on her grandfather’s lap in Milwaukee has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Arlis Gordon, 24, learned his fate on Thursday after Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Wagner told the defendant has left the family of Laylah Petersen ‘with a legacy of sadness.’
Gordon and Carl Barrett Jr, 21, were seeking revenge in another slaying when on November 6, 2014 they mistakenly targeted the home where Petersen’s grandparents lived, authorities said.
The house was sprayed with gunfire, as the girl, her sister Destiny and grandparents sat in the living room. Laylah was struck and killed when bullets pierced the front picture window.
The two men thought they were shooting at the home of the girlfriend of a man acquitted of killing Gordon’s stepbrother.
In an agreement with prosecutors, Gordon earlier pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless homicide and three counts of second-degree endangering safety, party to the crime.
Gordon’s punishment also includes 19 years of extended supervision.
During Thursday’s emotional sentencing hearing, the court heard victim impact statements from Laylah’s grief-stricken family, who derided Gordon as a coward, reported the Milwaukee Journal Constitution.
‘We never hurt anybody, we never did anything to deserve this,’ said Layla’s father, Robert Petersen. ‘We were just good people who loved each other and he took her away from us for no reason.’
The child’s godmother, Amanda Legler, told Gordon that they have been haunted by his actions every day for the past year.
When given a chance to speak, the 24-year-old convicted killer expressed his condolences to Layla’s family sitting in the audience and said he was remorseful for the ‘incident’ because he, too, knows what it’s like to lose a loved one, according to the station WISN.
The 24-year-old added that during his 14 months in jail, he has outgrown his ‘childish acts and ways of thinking’ and now has a ‘new, positive outlook on life.’
Gordon’s aunt also spoke out in court, apologizing to the victim’s family and pleading for mercy for her nephew.
‘He is not the monster that the media and the chief of police portrayed him to be,’ said Robin Reed. ‘He’s not a bad young man, he made a mistake.’
Carl Barrett was sentenced to 65 years in prison, followed by 35 years of extended supervision, last week after he was convicted by a jury in September of first-degree reckless homicide and first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
A man convicted of driving Gordon and Barrett to the house, 25-year-old Paul Farr, has been sentenced to five months in jail with the possibility of 10 years in prison if he violates the terms of his probation.