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Three sentenced in killing of mother on Christmas Day

Three men were sentenced Oct. 2 in the fatal shooting of a 25-year-old woman in front of her 3-year-old daughter on Christmas Day five years ago, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Darnell Houston, 38, and Lamar McKnight, 28, were sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.  Derrick Williams, 20, was given a 40-year-to life prison term. Houston, McKnight and Williams are all black men.

Ezekiel Simon, a 20-year-old man who was also involved with the crime, pleaded no contest to attempted murder and was sentenced in August to 29 years in prison.

On Dec. 25, 2010, Kashmier James was fatally shot while stopping to visit a friend in Manchester Square.

James’ daughter was sitting in the front seat of the car at the time of the shooting.

In August, all three men were convicted of one count each of first-degree murder and attempted murder. Jurors also found true gang and gun allegations.

Houston and McKnight received a special circumstance allegation for killing while active members of a street gang.

Simon and Williams were teens when the crime occurred but were charged as adults.

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