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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Man gets 30 years in prison for 2 murders

23:19 |


At a time when most boys are thinking about school, girls and sports, Michael Corchado-Jamieson was taking part in a brutal murder. He was only 15 when he joined other West Side gang members in the shooting deaths of a boy just a year older than him and a man coming home from buying snacks for his pregnant girlfriend. Now 20, Corchado-Jamieson is going to prison for 30 years, maybe longer. “What I’ve done can’t be forgotten,” he said Thursday in federal court, “and it’s in my mind every day.” With friends and family of the victims looking on, Corchado-Ja- mieson became the first member of the 10th Street Gang to go to prison for the murder of Brandon McDonald and Darinell Young. They were killed April 17, 2006, caught in the middle of an escalating drug war between the 10th Street and Seventh Street gangs. Police said Young and Mc-Donald were innocent victims who, through no fault of their own, found themselves in the midst of a gunfight rooted in retaliation for the shooting of a 10th Street Gang member hours earlier. Family members looked on Thursday as prosecutor Joseph M. Tripi described the “horrific” events of that deadly day in 2006 and why Corchado-Jamieson needs to be held accountable. “The victims do need justice,” he told U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. Arcara also heard from family members who acknowledged that, even now, nearly six years after the murders, they live with the knowledge that Young and McDonald were casualties in a gang war they had nothing to do with. “Brandon's two young sisters shouldn’t have to grow up without their older brother and protector,” said Bonnie Coon, Mc-Donald’s great aunt. Young’s mother, Christine, accompanied by her son’s children, read a passage from Ecclesiastes and, then looking at Arcara, spoke about the wisdom of Solomon. “I would like to believe justice will be done in this case,” she said. Before sentencing Corchado-Jamieson, Arcara spoke at length about the violent war between the two gangs and how the young people at the center of it seem to lack respect for anyone or anything. “I’ve been in this business a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of bad things,” he said, “but this kind of activity is a complete mystery to me.” “You can feel the pain in this courtroom,” he added. “Some how, some way, this has got to stop.” Corchado-Jamieson’s lawyer echoed the judge’s comments and suggested his client was particularly vulnerable because of the absence of strong parental role models and a caring home. He then noted the absence of friends and family in the courtroom. “This young man is facing a life sentence, and not a single family member is sitting here,” said defense attorney Andrew C. LoTempio. Arcara spared him life in prison but sentenced him to 30 years. Corchado-Jamieson’s time in jail could increase, however, depending on what happens to a separate manslaughter case in state court. He pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Meanwhile, police arrested six associates of the 10th Street Gang earlier this month in connection with the 2006 murders. Investigators say all six men took part in the shooting incident. The arrests were the result of an ongoing investigation by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force, a multiagency effort that includes state police and Buffalo police.

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