NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - An Orleans Criminal Court judge handed down multiple life sentences, Tuesday, to three men involved in the murders of a five-year-old girl, and a New Orleans mother of three.
It was a sentence 3 1/2 years in the making. It came as the result of a new effort spearheaded by the NOPD, and the District Attorney's office, to crack down on gang violence.
And in this case the defendants were Tyron Harden, Demond Sandifer, and Sam Newman.
Judge Tracey Davillier sentenced all three to multiple life sentences, in spite of pleas of leniency since Newman and Sandifer were 16 years old at the time of the murders.
They were prosecuted as members of the 110ers gang, for the 2012 murders of five-year-old Brianna Allen and Shewanna Pierce.
Allen was killed on a Simon Bolivar front porch in a gang shootout. Pierce was killed two blocks away by a random shot from an AK 47, as she tried to return a rental car
"It's been hard, they were used to being with their mother all the time. At the time they were 9, 7, and 2, they are now 12. 10, and 5. It's tough, they're adjusting but they miss their mother," said Laura Pierce the sister of victim Shewanna Pierce.
Mayor Landrieu added, "I remember this day clearly, when Brianna Allen was taken from us, on her mother's front porch...Shewanna Pierce shot blocks away. It was almost an act of domestic terrorism."
Mayor Landrieu congratulated members of the gang task force on the criminal court steps. He called the 110ers gang a human wrecking ball on this city.
Chief Michael Harrison says the gang crackdown has helped to curtail the city's murder rate. He says the gang unit and the DA's office has helped to prosecute 126 members from 15 different gangs.