Two men were convicted Thursday for their roles in an ambush shooting that killed a 25-year-old South Gate man in Leimert Park.
Tyree Davion Woods, 24, of Los Angeles pleaded no contest to a charge of first-degree murder, along with the special allegation that he personally used a firearm in the July 20, 2015, killing of 25-year-old Derron Jamaine Jones of South Gate, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and coroner’s officials.
Co-defendant Dondre Fitzgeral Williams, 25, of Palmdale, pleaded no contest charges of assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury and shooting at an inhabited motor vehicle, prosecutors said in a written statement.
They were both initially charged with murder, along with the special circumstance of murder during the course of a robbery, making them potentially eligible for capital punishment if they had been convicted as originally charged.
Under Thursday’s negotiated plea arrangement, Woods was expected to receive 50 years to life in state prison at a May 14 sentencing hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, prosecutors said. Williams was expected to face six years behind bars.
Charges of attempted murder, assault with a firearm, shooting at an inhabited motor vehicle, attempted robbery and conspiracy against Woods were dismissed, records show. Charges of murder, attempted murder, assault with a firearm, attempted robbery and conspiracy against Williams were dropped.
The deadly ambush took place during what prosecutors initially alleged was a robbery at Martin Luther King Boulevard and McClung Drive, officials said.
“The defendants followed Derron Jones and a woman in their car in the South Los Angeles neighborhood,” according to the D.A.’s Office. “As Jones attempted to make a U-turn, Woods cut off the victim’s vehicle, got out of his car and opened fire.”
Jones died from his injuries at a hospital. His passenger was unhurt.
Further details regarding the alleged robbery were not available.
Investigators arrested Woods and Williams a month later following a pursuit, officials said.