Three Memphis men were sentenced to life sentences plus for the 2015 “revenge” murder of a seven-year-old girl.
Offender Carlos Stokes, 25, whom the judge called the ringleader of the murder plot, was sentenced to life plus another 53 years. His compatriots were also hit with additional years. Jordan Clayton, 24, received 46 more years and Branden Brookins, 22, was sentenced to an additional 44 years on top of life sentences, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Judge James Lammey was appalled by the case, noting that the three “were hunting this girl, basically.”
During the trial of the three last year, prosecutors revealed that the men jumped in a truck and began cruising the area looking for some random young person to shoot because one of the men, Carlos Stokes, lost his own fifteen-year-old sister that same day to a shooting.
After driving around for a short time, the three spied Memphis first-grader Kirsten Williams playing with a friend in the front yard of a home. Witnesses described how the three slowly drove up in a maroon colored truck, rolled down the window, and carefully took aim with a handgun before unleashing the volley that killed the child.
The judge asked the three men who have been accused of being in a gang-related drug war with rivals why they didn’t try to work with police on the shooting of Stokes’ sister.
The dual murders of the two young girls in the same day shocked Memphis in 2015.
“The shooting death of two innocent children is a heart-crushing tragedy for the families involved and for this entire city,” then Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said in a statement made at the time.
When the three were arrested in 2015, the victim’s great uncle, Norris Hamilton, said, “To take the life of an innocent child the punishment should be swift and it should be severe and I’m trusting our judicial system to do that.”
There is absolutely no reason in this world that someone who takes a life – especially the life of a child, should be locked away getting three square meals a day on the taxpayer dime. If you’re selfish enough to take the life of an innocent, then you deserve nothing but to be put to death yourself.