A gang member convicted of killing a 15-year-old girl in a hail of bullets he fired into a house in the Kensington-Bailey neighborhood was sentenced Monday to 25 years to life in prison.
A jury in April convicted Kevin J. Davis II, 26, a member of the Gangster Disciples, of second-degree murder for the Sept. 30, 2010, slaying of Dominique Maye.
Dominique, a Riverside Institute of Technology ninth-grader, was an unintended target.
The teenager was staying at her aunt's house, prosecutors said, and died when Davis fired 19 shots with an AK-47 into the Hewitt Avenue home in a failed attempt to shoot Dominique's brother, Cardricus T. Maye.
Cardricus Maye's fellow gang members believed he was an informant.
Davis declined to speak before Erie County Judge Michael F. Pietruszka sentenced him to the maximum prison term.
Defense attorney Emily Trott told the court that Davis did not shoot the girl.
"This crime was perpetrated by another," she told Pietruszka, without naming anybody.
The prosecution, she said, allowed several fellow gang members to testify against Davis in exchange for no charges being brought against them in the fatal shooting.
"They picked an easy target," Trott said of her client.
The prosecution witnesses "were accomplices to the crime," she said.
None of Dominique's family members spoke at Davis' sentencing, although Pietruszka received victim-impact letters.
The letters were touching and showed how the "heinous crime" has affected Dominique's family members, said prosecutor Gary W. Hackbush, who, with Assistant District Attorney Patrick B. Shanahan, prosecuted Davis.
"She was never able to realize her potential," Hackbush said of Dominique.
Dominique's family, Hackbush added, pressed for the maximum sentence.
Sherry Campbell, the mother of Davis, called her son "a great guy, a good kid" who chose to socialize with "the worst people in Buffalo."
Campbell said the real culprits "aren't behind bars."
"God," she said, "will serve them justice."