MORENO VALLEY – A 26-year-old Palm Desert resident was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole on Tuesday, March 15, following a previous mistrial.
The case involved a May 2011 Moreno Valley home-invasion robbery and shooting death. In a previous trial, a mistrial was declared in the penalty phase of on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015 after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict to either sentence Deontray Robinson to death or life in prison without parole.
The jury found Robinson guilty of murder, robbery and sentencing enhancements, but the same jury was unable to reach unanimous agreement the sentencing. This time, after deliberating for two days, the jury tasked with sentencing came back with sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.
Robinson is the first to be sentenced in the case. Two other defendants face sentencing next month, and at least one other defendant still faces a trial.
The robbers were hunting for $10,000 believed to be in victim Jerry Mitchell Jr.’s Carnation Lane condo in Moreno Valley, according to court records.
The robbers were all described as members of the Black P Stone criminal gang, which originated in Chicago and spread to Los Angeles and then to Moreno Valley, according to Deputy District Attorney Jared Haringsma. The robbers didn’t find the large sum of cash and just took property, including a big screen television.
Robinson returned alone a short time later and fired five shots at the victim, who had called police and was standing in the condo doorway waiting for them to arrive. The shooting was ordered by another defendant because Robinson knew Mitchell, according to testimony.
Mitchell had no gang ties, came from a close-knit family and cared for a blind relative.