WASHINGTON — Three men charged in the shooting death of 11-year-old Davon McNeal were sentenced to time behind bars Friday.
The four men charged in his death are Daryle Bond, Carlo General, Marcel Gordon and Christian Wingfield. All previously pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed under aiding and abetting.
Everyone except Daryle Bond was sentenced Friday morning. Bond's sentencing has been rescheduled to Aug. 4.
Carlo General, the man who the prosecutor says fired the fatal bullet, received the maximum sentence allowed per his plea deal of 16 years in prison, with five years of supervised release.
Marcel Gordon received the next highest sentence, the agreed-upon 10 years, with five years of supervised release.
Christian Wingfield received the agreed-upon sentence of nine-and-a-half years, with five years of supervised release.
McNeal was hit by a stray bullet and killed on July 4, 2020, at an anti-violence cookout his mom organized in southeast DC.
“People tell me I'm doing good, you so strong, and I don't believe it, because behind closed doors I'm a mess," his mom, Crystal McNeal said.
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Friday's hearing was emotion-charged, as Crystal McNeal read a victim impact statement to the court.
She said, in part, "Davon looked up to all the guys...I called them my family, my family."
She said her youngest son doesn't even want to go outside now.
Crystal said Davon would have been 13 now and walking across the stage for graduation on June 24. Now, she and her son Kevon, have to do that in his memory.
"Their family can still visit them. Their family can still talk to them," she said in court, pointing to the four defendants. "My baby is six feet under."
At that point, she broke down crying and stormed out of the courtroom.
Judge Rainey Brandt said she understood her emotion and called on everyone to take a breath before the next two speakers took the stand for their victim impact statements.
Crystal and Davon's aunt, who also took the stand, said their family has been receiving threats over the past two years.
“We ain't the one pull the trigger, they're the ones that pull the trigger, and it’s someone that looked up to all of them," Crystal said.
Lastly, Davon's coach, Kevin McGill, asked to share a victim impact statement, during which he said that he was born and raised in southeast D.C., got involved in selling drugs and using guns, even ending up behind bars himself.
However, he said he turned his life around, became ordained as a pastor, and has since been coaching kids and friends alike to put the guns down and focus on bettering the community.
"Let this all be a lesson," McGill said to the defendants. "You're going to get another chance at life, unlike this young man."
He charged the defendants with using their experience to steer others away from following in their footsteps once they get out of prison.
“When they get out, they’ll be in their 30s. They still gonna have a life," Crystal said. "Davon won’t. His life ended at 11 years old.”
Before calling on each defendant to receive his sentence individually, Judge Brandt addressed them together, saying it's because of their "dangerous, reckless, selfish behavior" that an 11-year-old boy is now dead.
"The weight of this robe is very heavy," she said. "There is no sentence I can impose today that is going to heal this tragedy."
Judge Brandt went on to explain that she can't change the maximum sentences agreed upon in the plea deal -- she can only choose from the ranges given.
Christian Wingfield, who the prosecutor said did not fire any shots that fateful night, was sentenced first.
Judge Brandt said she received numerous letters of support from friends, employers, pastors and family, so she was confused how he ended up here.
Wingfield read from a statement that said in part, "I want to apologize to Day-Day's family...His life was cut short, which impacted me in so many ways and taught me how to value life."
The judge handed down the agreed-upon sentence of 10 years (five years minimum) and five years supervised release, saying she hopes he leaves behind his "wannabe mentality" and starts anew.
Next was Marcel Gordon, who did fire shots off that night, but none of which hit McNeal.
Gordon said in court that he apologizes and takes full responsibility for his actions, but the judge said she wasn't buying it.
Still, as per the law, she accepted the agreed-upon sentencing of 10 years with five years of supervised release.
Lastly, Carlo General faced Judge Brandt.
His lawyers said there was no intent to shoot Davon.
He read a statement in court that said in part, "I know none of us wanted to be here in this predicament...I loved the little boy myself."
He apologized to the family and asked for their forgiveness, saying he will learn from his actions.
The judge said she received multiple letters of support for him as well, saying he's not a monster and asking for leniency for his "mistake."
The judge said, "Davon McNeal -- his life was not a mistake."
In that spirit, she said General must be punished and so she handed him the maximum sentence of his plea deal's agreed-upon 13-16 years.
The judge said the defendants all have to register as gun offenders and were ordered by the judge to get their GEDs as none currently has a high school diploma.
Friday also marked National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and Mayor Muriel Bowser is launching a new gun violence awareness campaign.
It's called 202 for Peace, and hopes to make the community aware of resources available for gun violence victims and people vulnerable to engaging in violent activity.
RELATED: DC gun violence awareness campaign kicks off, locals invited to get involved in 202forPeace
Throughout the weekend, there will also be a youth talent competition and picnic.
Moving forward, the campaign lists weekly "peace pop-ups" as upcoming events, which are slated to occur every Thursday afternoon, starting June 9, and throughout the summer in the District’s four high crime priority areas to identify service needs and connect necessary resources to these communities.
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