On Friday, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced the convictions of two men found guilty in the shooting death of a 21-year-old pregnant woman inside her Portland, Oregon, apartment in August of 2014.
27-year-old De'Anthony Simmons and 29-year-old Kelani Brown pleaded guilty to charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree with a Firearm and Burglary First Degree stemming from the homicide of Ervaeua Ronchelle Herring, according to a press release from the Multnomah County District Attorney's office.
Simmons received a 10-year prison sentence, while Brown was senteced to 7.5 years in prison for the separate convictions announced Friday.
According to the district attorney's office, the shooting of Herring came as a retaliation to an earlier fight in downtown Portland. Simmons and Brown were reportedly present during the fight when an associate of theirs was shot.
"In retaliation, Brown, Simmons, and others drove to Herring's apartment complex looking for DeAndrae Stevens, who was associated with individuals that participated in the fight. Herring and Stevens shared a child," the DA's office wrote. Six armed gunmen reportedly entered the wrong apartment while looking for Stevens' apartment threatening the resident and her small children with guns.
"Realizing their mistake, the gunmen knocked on Herring's back door and fired approximately 30 shots into the apartment when she came to the door, killing Herring," the district attorney's office wrote. Investigations revealed that gang activity was a "common thread" between Stevens and the defendants.
The trail was scheduled to begin Monday, but the prosecution was "hampered by multiple critical witnesses' reluctance to testify due to safety concerns."
Stevens was also fatally shot two weeks ago in Portland, contributing further to "safety concerns" and "lack of cooperation" among critical witnesses.
Four other defendants have previously plad guilty in connection to the case.
Jeffrey Lamont Sims Jr. pled guilty to second-degree manslaughter, Latasha Lynn Davis pled guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, Tony Lamar Brown pled guilty to murder, first-degree burglary and unlawful use of a weapon, and Geontae Brauchard Jones plead guilty to second-degree manslaughter with a firearm, according to The Oregonian. Another defendant, Demetruis Ray Brown, had charges dropped after it was determined that he was unfit to stand trial.
Herring's mother criticized the district attorney's office and the court system during the emotional sentencing hearing for Brown and Simmons. The mother called the sentences a "slap on the wrist" and said the men ruined her grandson's life, who she said asks about his mother frequently, KATU reported.
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