MODESTO -- A defendant who was 14 years old when he went on a shooting spree through south Modesto and killed a young father will likely die in prison after a judge sentenced him to 132 years to life in prisonFriday.
Angel Cabanillas, now 18, will be the only California inmate serving a life sentence for a crime committed at the age of 14 or younger, his defense attorney said in Stanislaus County Superior Court. Attorney Martin Baker of Modesto said a life sentence for a child's crime is "cruel and unusual punishment."
"The only light at the end of the tunnel is death," Baker said. "For a juvenile, that's a very, very long time."
Judge Timothy Salter said the viciousness of Cabanillas' actions ruled out any leniency.
"An innocent human life was taken," Salter said. "The peace and tranquility of two entire neighborhoods was shattered."
On June 10, 2006, the teen - a member of a Sureño street gang known as South Side Tréce - his older brother and a buddy grabbed a rifle, piled into a blue Honda and headed into enemy territory.
The trio drove to a neighborhood west of Crows Landing Road — which is dubbed "Deep South Side Modesto" by residents who affiliate with Norteño gangs — then, according to authorities, shouted slogans and opened fire on perfect strangers who happened to be outside.
According to witnesses, the boys passed a house on Almaden Way three times, making threats against a crowd of people gathered at a birthday party, including children jumping in an inflatable bounce house.
On the third pass, the witnesses say, Cabanillas opened fire as partygoers ran for cover. Manuel Rayas, 28, of San Francisco was killed. Thirteen minutes later, about 6:10 p.m., the boys were spotted near the Seventh Street Bridge, then were arrested after a short pursuit.
Read the full story at modbee.com.