In the nearly four years South End gang member D’Angelo Saloy thought he had gotten away with murder, he continued to carry guns and commit crimes, including assaulting a Seattle police officer, a King County deputy prosecutor said at Saloy’s sentencing hearing Wednesday.
Saloy, now 22, was sentenced to just over 59 years in prison, after his August convictions in the fatal shooting of 15-year-old Quincy Coleman and the wounding of another teen at Garfield High School on Halloween 2008. The convictions for first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder carried firearms enhancements that added a mandatory 10 years to his sentence.
“This is someone who … renewed his dedication to his gang during trial,” Deputy Prosecutor Jessica Berliner said. He has shown “not one bit of remorse for the crime he committed.”
While no one “relishes asking the court” for a sentence that amounts to a life term, Berliner said, testimony at Saloy’s trial showed “the coldness and how cavalier the defendant was about choosing his victims, the ease with which he pulled the trigger.
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“He just simply doesn’t and didn’t care,” and would have been happy if he’d also killed the other teens who were with Coleman that night, she said.
Coleman, a relatively new member of a Central District gang, was hanging out with friends behind the school when he was shot twice in the back and died at the scene. Demario Clark, who was also 15, was wounded.
According to police and prosecutors, Saloy wanted to kill members of a Central District gang as payback for the shooting death of his friend, 16-year-old Pierre “Pete the Sneak” LaPointe. Saloy wrote about his friend in rap lyrics and social-media posts, Berliner said during opening statements in July.
Coleman and LaPointe were two of six teenagers fatally shot in 2008 in Seattle, both casualties of the violence between Central District gangs and South End gangs.
Saloy was arrested in September 2012 as he walked out of the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, Mason County, where he’d served an 11-month sentence for second-degree assault on a police officer and unlawful possession of a firearm.
During a 2010 conversation recorded by an informant wearing a wire for police, Saloy said that he had been “very upset about the death” of LaPointe, police said. He said that on the night of Coleman’s death, he and some friends had “traveled north to find someone responsible for the shooting,” according to court documents.
Police said the video from the recorded conversation also shows Saloy urinating on Coleman’s memorial marker at Garfield High, the documents say.
Coleman’s mother, Michelle Gatreau, said Wednesday the death of her youngest child “tore my family apart.” Every year, the family grieves his loss starting at Halloween, through Thanksgiving and Christmas, and on Coleman’s birthday in February.
“No matter what, on those holidays … Quincy is not there. It’s just not right, it never feels real,” Gatreau said. “It took away his life and destroyed a whole family and ripped a hole in the fabric of our community.”
Ignoring his lawyer’s advice not to speak during his sentencing hearing, Saloy — who was 16 at the time of the fatal shooting — said he is “a good dude” and “there’s no evidence I’m a bad dude … I’m guilty of nothing.”
King County Superior Court Judge Regina Cahan imposed a midrange sentence, saying that despite Saloy’s young age at the time of the shooting, he went on to commit additional crimes before his 2012 arrest and showed “absolutely no remorse” through the course of his trial.
“The gang issue is so disturbing. I have no doubt the kids — and they are kids — in the South End and the CD (Central District) have so much more in common” than they think, the judge said, eliciting audible scoffs from the gallery, where a number of Saloy’s friends sat alongside members of Coleman’s family. She lamented the “war of sorts” between the gangs that is “over nothing.”
To Saloy, Cahan said: “It’s so cemented in your brain that this is life for you. … It’s a long time in prison, but I frankly think if you’re out, there will be more crimes committed.”
Information from Times archives is included in this story.Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org