LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A state appellate court panel today rejected a woman's challenge to her 25-year prison sentence for being the getaway driver in the robbery-motivated murder of an MTV music coordinator and the killing of another man just over a week apart in Los Angeles.
The three-justice panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal agreed with the trial court's finding that Destiny Young -- who pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter -- is not eligible for re-sentencing under a recent change in state law that applies to defendants convicted in some murder cases.
“Here, the trial court properly denied relief because, having pleaded no contest to manslaughter, Young is ineligible for resentencing as a matter of law,'' the appellate court panel found in a six-page ruling in the 39-year-old woman's case.
The case stemmed from the May 8, 2011, shooting death of Gabriel Ben-Meir, a 30-year-old MTV music coordinator, near his mid-Wilshire apartment building, and the April 30, 2011, shooting death of Marcelo Aragon, a 35-year-old father of two, in the Pico-Union area.
“I just ask for your forgiveness some day,'' Young tearfully told Ben-Meir's family members shortly before she was sentenced in November 2016.
At the sentencing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Stephen A. Marcus noted that Young was “not the cold-blooded killer'' that her then-boyfriend, Jabaar Vincent Thomas, was, but said she had “played a critical role in the killing of two human beings.''
Thomas, now 36, was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, five counts of robbery, three counts of attempted robbery and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon. He is serving a life prison term without the possibility of parole.
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