Men sentenced for killing woman during gang shootout

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SAN DIEGO — Two of three gang members were sentenced Friday for a shooting that killed a woman who was celebrating her 21st birthday in the Gaslamp Quarter in 2009.

Frederick Roberson and Dontaye CraigDontaye Craig, 28, and Frederick Roberson, 26, were sentenced to life in prison for the Memorial Day weekend 2009 shooting that took the life of LaKiesha Mason and left two men wounded.

Craig, Roberson and 21-year-old Rashad Scott were convicted in September of first-degree murder, attempted murder and assault with a firearm.

Roberson — who had convictions for carjacking when he was 16 — was sentenced to 209 years to life behind bars, while Craig was sentenced to 86 years to life.

A fourth man charged in the shooting, Marlon Johnson, pleaded guilty to lesser charges and testified against his co-defendants. Scott is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 13.

LaKiesha Mason’s father said the defendants had no redemptive value based on their attitude at trial, during which they were seen giggling and falling asleep.

“They feel that it is a joke,” Sam Mason told Judge Charles Rogers. “(They) sit there like it was no big deal. Well, it is a big deal.”

Debra Nesby told the defendants that her daughter was her best friend.

“You killed her dreams, as well as mine,” Nesby said. “Not only have you failed as men … you’ve failed as fathers.”

Roberson apologized to Mason’s family and his own, saying his mistakes “made it easier to put this noose around my neck.” But the defendant said his sentence was not justice and questioned whether Rogers was in a position to judge him.

Deputy District Attorney James Simmons said the victim was shot and killed when she, her sister and a friend stumbled upon a gang fight.

Simmons said Johnson was with the co-defendants when he bumped into a rival gang member outside a Gaslamp club about 2 a.m. on May 24, 2009.

The prosecutor said Roberson punched a member of the rival group, and Craig pulled a .38-caliber handgun and fired several shots in a crowd. Two men were wounded but survived; Mason was shot in the head and died at the scene.

“These men went out there looking for trouble,” Simmons told the judge today. “She (Mason) didn’t deserve this. This is the epitome of a gang crime.”

Surveillance video from a nearby building showed Scott and Roberson walking toward the scene just before the shooting, according to Simmons, who also said DNA found on a hat and hooded sweatshirt left at the scene was linked to Roberson.

Roberson’s attorney, Frank Birchak, questioned when his client’s DNA got on the hat and the sweatshirt, and Scott’s attorney, Tim Chandler, said his client had nothing to do with the shooting.


  • Mark K.

    First off, my condolences to the victim’s family. May she rest in peace. I am not saying these men don’t deserve life in prison but I guarantee if this was a white man who killed the girl he wouldn’t have got life, maybe at the most 20 years (earlier on good behavior). Just like Zimmerman who is still free after killing a black teenager. Race is the major reason they got life.

  • The Link

    Guilty send them to San Quentin Death Row.
    This is nothing to with race the other case is self defense or manslaughter and this case cold blooded murder big big difference.

  • Michaela

    I’m so tired of white people being compared 2 black people. Yes there is prejudice people in this world but guess what? There not just white people who are prejudice, its black ppl and all other races.

  • steven greenwald

    stop gang warfare stop the war on drugs and legalize marijuana treat substance abuse as a disease and not a crime the california medical association advocate legalizing marijuana

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