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Man sentenced to 4 years in prison in killing of woman in front of police officer

A man was sentenced Feb. 8 to four years in state prison for his involvement in the killing last year of a woman in front of a Hawthorne police officer, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

Stanley White, a 25-year-old black man, pleaded no contest Jan. 28 to assault with a firearm as part of a negotiated deal in the killing of Denise Berry, 44, according to prosecutors.

On April 1, 2015, White was driving a Cadillac sedan with his uncle Robert Washington, 38, and another man, according to a spokesman from the district attorney’s office. 

About 12:30 p.m., White stopped at an intersection in Hawthorne alongside Berry’s gray Mercedes. She was driving with her 12-year-old son to a barbershop, said Lt. Dave Coleman with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Berry’s son then pointed at Washington’s feet hanging out the Cadillac’s passenger window. The mother and son shared a laugh and continued on their way, Coleman said.

White then followed the Mercedes, authorities said. Berry noticed and pulled over to alert a Hawthorne police officer, Coleman said. The officer told her to pull in front of him so he could help. 

As Berry got back into her car, White pulled alongside the vehicle, Coleman said.Washington then got out and began shooting. The Hawthorne police officer jumped out of his car as well and opened fire, fatally shooting Washington, Coleman said.

Berry suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene at 1 p.m., according to coroner’s records. Her son was struck in the upper body and was taken to a hospital. He was released the next day. 

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @jeromercampbell and @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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