Gunman who shot and killed 6-year-old in 2021 road rage incident found guilty

Gunman who shot and killed 6-year-old in 2021 road rage incident found guilty

Gunman Found Guilty in 2021 Road Rage Killing of 6-Year-Old

In a tragic incident on the 55 Freeway in 2021, 26-year-old Marcus Anthony Eriz was found guilty of second-degree murder in the road rage shooting that claimed the life of 6-year-old Aiden Leos.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced the verdict, and Eriz now faces a potential sentence of up to 40 years to life in prison.

The Accomplice and Pending Trial

Eriz’s girlfriend, 26-year-old Wynee Lee, was behind the wheel during the shooting and is currently awaiting trial for being an accessory after the fact.

Victim’s Circumstances

Aiden Leos, seated in a booster seat, tragically lost his life on May 21, 2021, when a bullet struck him during the road rage incident. The incident occurred as Aiden’s mother, Joanna Cloonan, was driving him to kindergarten.

Incident Details

The dispute began when Lee cut off Cloonan, leading to a confrontation. Despite a peace sign from Lee, tensions escalated, and shots were fired at the rear of Cloonan’s car, resulting in the tragic death of young Aiden.

Legal Proceedings

Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Feldman argued for a second-degree murder conviction, emphasizing the notion of “implied malice.” Eriz’s attorney, Randall Bethune, sought a voluntary manslaughter conviction, citing provocation due to a hand gesture from Cloonan.

Sequence of Events

The prosecution focused on the sequence of Eriz’s actions, including reaching into the backseat, grabbing the weapon, rolling down the window, and shooting at Cloonan’s car. This sequence, according to Feldman, demonstrated “implied malice.”

Legal Debate

A significant point of contention in the trial revolved around whether Eriz had sufficient time for reflection during the moments leading up to the shooting.

Feldman argued that the deliberate actions showed “implied malice,” while Bethune contended that provocation justified a lesser charge of manslaughter.

The trial underscores the tragic consequences of a road rage incident, leading to the loss of a young life. As legal proceedings unfold, the case prompts reflection on the complexities of determining intent and culpability in such emotionally charged situations.

TDPel Media

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