Two young men, members of the Crips street gang, have been convicted of a 2009 shooting that left one teen dead and another injured. They face up to 50 years in prison when they are sentenced Jan. 9.
“The defendants in this case cut short the life of an innocent 13-year-old student and wounded a second teen who was working at a car wash by engaging in reckless — and ultimately fatal — violence. The streets of Queens County must not be turned into deadly battle grounds for these rival gangs,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a prepared statement.
Gregory Calas, 21, of 228th Street in St. Albans, and Nnonso Ekwegbalu, 19, of 183rd Street in Springfield Gardens were convicted last Thursday following a six-week jury trial.
Calas was convicted of first-degree manslaughter, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. Ekwegbalu — whose case was heard by a separate jury — was convicted of first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and one count of criminal possession of a weapon.
Calas pulled out a handgun and fired in the direction of three members of the rival Bloods gang with whom he had just had a physical altercation, according to the Queens DA.
Ekwegbalu, then 16, a student at Humanities and the Arts Magnet High School in Cambria Heights, also was armed and fired his weapon, Brown said.
Miller, a freshman at the same school, was headed to a nearby McDonald’s to grab a bite to eat when a stray bullet hit him in the head on Oct. 2 at around 3:15 p.m. He was taken to North Shore University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Pedro Garcia, a 17-year-old working at a carwash in the vicinity, was also struck, the bullet entering his thigh, but he survived.
Nether of the victims were gang members or involved in the gang dispute, the DA said.
Miller’s mother, Donna Hood, could not be reached for comment by press time.