A Palm Springs gang member convicted of the fatal beating and robbery of a 66-year-old security guard was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Jerrett Lewis, 21, was found guilty in May of first-degree murder and robbery charges stemming from the June 9, 2007, attack on Bower Security Co. guard Wallace “Danny” Brown near Rosa Parks Road and El Dorado Boulevard in Palm Springs.
Lewis was a juvenile at the time of the crime and cannot face the death penalty.
A second co-defendant, Jamar Thomas, 21, was previously convicted of first-degree murder. A jury declined to recommend a death sentence for Thomas, who was sentenced last month to life in prison without parole.
Another co-defendant, 21-year-old Darius Lee, was acquitted of all charges in July, and murder and other charges were previously dismissed against 20-year-old Akil Williams due to insufficient evidence.
Deputy District Attorney Manny Bustamante has said the victim’s attackers were Gateway Posse Crips street gang members who snuck up on Brown’s van, which was parked at a construction site in northern Palm Springs.
The prosecutor alleged that Lee and Williams acted as lookouts as Lewis and Thomas hurled rocks at the van, shattering the windows, before pulling the guard from the vehicle and beating him for his wallet and cell phone.
Brown, a 66-year-old retired Marine, died at a hospital three days after being attacked, without regaining consciousness.
Lewis’ attorney, Jose Rojo, said his client did not have any prior contacts with law enforcement before the attack and never admitted to being a member of the Gateway Posse Crips.