SAN DIEGO — A gang member convicted of gunning down two young men within about a month’s span in different parts of San Diego was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Deshaun Prescott, 28, was convicted in May of the murders of Derion Elias White, 23, in East Village, and Greggory Davis, 18, in the O’Farrell neighborhood. Jurors also found true special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and committing multiple murders.
Police found White shot in the upper body just after midnight on June 29, 2016, near 17th Street and Island Avenue. He was targeted while sitting in the back seat of a parked car and died at the scene.
Davis was killed on Aug. 2, 2016, when Prescott and another man opened fire on a group of people near the intersection of 61st and Alderley streets about 5:40 p.m., striking Davis and then-25-year-old Avery Ealy, who survived, according to testimony.
Jurors acquitted Prescott of the attempted murder of Ealy, along with an assault with a semi-automatic firearm count.
Deputy District Attorney John Dunlap said gang-related motivations were behind both killings.
The prosecutor said White was formerly part of a gang allied with Prescott’s. But after a member of White’s gang killed a member of Prescott’s, it triggered the victim’s “execution-style” murder, the prosecutor said. Dunlap said that as White exited a tattoo shop and got into a car picking him up from the area, Prescott opened a back seat door of the vehicle and shot White, then fled.
“The manner in which Derion was killed was nothing less than cold-blooded murder,” Dunlap said at the sentencing hearing.
Prescott’s DNA was discovered on a utility box across the street from the tattoo shop, according to the prosecutor, who said Prescott leaned against the box as he waited for White to exit the business. Dunlap also said that a palm print linked to Prescott was found on the car’s rear door. In Davis’ killing, Dunlap said Prescott and another man — who remains unidentified — fired on a group of people in the O’Farrell neighborhood because it was rival gang territory. Davis ahd graduated from high school six weeks prior to his death and was hoping to join the military, according to family.
“It would be unfair for me to say Greggory was in the wrong place at the wrong time … because he was home,” Dunlap told jurors.
Dunlap said someone at the O’Farrell scene fired back at the shooters, resulting in Prescott being struck in the foot, which was key in tying him to both killings.
Prescott left a blood trail, which police used to connect his DNA to the shooting scene, and later the DNA left at White’s killing. Prescott showed up at an area hospital the day after Davis’ death.
He was arrested Aug. 21, 2016, on a probation violation, and booked for Davis’ murder about a week later. The criminal complaint was amended about six months later to include a murder charge in connection with White’s killing.