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Saturday, 12 July 2008

San Bernardino gang members Harold Lee Phillips,Sidikiba Greenwood sentenced to more than 90 years to life each.

06:57 |

Two gang members will spend the rest of their lives in prison for their part in a 2005 gang retaliation shooting, in which Mynisha, 11, was killed and her older sister, Jaynita, 14, at the time, was wounded. Mynisha's family sat stoically Friday in San Bernardino County Superior Court as Judge Brian McCarville sentenced gunman Harold Lee Phillips, 26, and organizer Sidikiba Greenwood, 37, to more than 90 years to life each. Heavily guarded by plainclothes officers and San Bernardino sheriff's bailiffs, Mynisha's family declined comment after the sentencing and was quickly whisked away. Deputy District Attorney Ron Webster said the court remains vigilant in its concern for the family's safety. "The family is still very distraught. I'm just glad they could be here," Webster said. "This day will never bring back their 11-year-old daughter, but we will continue to fight this gang problem for the loved ones that continue to be lost." Greenwood, whose wife sat in the courtroom with their three children and quietly cried, was sentenced to 109 years to life, including five life sentences. Last month, a jury convicted him of first-degree murder, two attempted murder charges, conspiracy and shooting into an inhabited dwelling. Greenwood also was convicted on the sentencing enhancements of deadly use of a firearm and committing a crime to benefit a criminal street gang.
Phillips was given a total of 94 years, 4 months to life in prison, which includes three life sentences. Phillips, who was on parole from the California Youth Authority at the time of the crime, was found guilty of second-degree murder, two attempted murder charges and the same enhancements as Greenwood.
Both sat motionless as their sentences were given. Only Greenwood chose to speak to Mynisha's family, standing to face her mother and expressing remorse for his actions. "I wanted to tell Mynisha's family I'm sorry for their loss," Greenwood said quietly. "It was never my intention for their daughter to get hurt."
Greenwood's sister, Cynthia Jones, cried uncontrollably and had to leave the courtroom. Her friend, Jay Bib, held her and said, "There are victims on both sides." Harold Phillips Sr., who watched quietly as his son was sentenced, said his son asked his mother not to come to court today.
"It's a travesty. It was unintentional," Phillips Sr. said of his son's sentence. "I'm unemployed but I hope to be counseling youth soon to prevent them from making the same mistakes my son made."
The pair were among a dozen San Bernardino gang members involved in the Nov. 13, 2005, shooting. According to the San Bernardino County probation report, the gang sought revenge for the killing of fellow gang member Barry Jones four days earlier.

In retaliation, they fired into an apartment they believed housed a member of the rival gang. Authorities have said that the gang member they were after had moved out and Mynisha's family had nothing to do with gangs.

Mynisha was shot in the chest and died shortly after arriving at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Her sister was shot in the arm and survived.

Other defendants in the case are awaiting trial or sentencing. Sinque Beiama Morrison, 32, will be retried following a mistrial which was declared May 5. Michael Barnett Jr., 21, also is being tried separately. One man, Tyshon Karrien Harris, is already in state prison, and two others are expected to be sentenced Aug. 22.

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