Crime

16-year-old sentenced to 12 years for fatal shooting outside store

Before Trevion Tucker was sentenced to 12 years in prison Monday, the mother of the man he killed thanked the 16-year-old for taking responsibility for what happened.

Tucker pleaded guilty last year to second-degree murder in the drive-by shooting that killed 19-year-old Brandon Morris in May 2015. He’s one of six young men convicted in connection with Morris’ death.

In addition to thanking Tucker, Morris’ mother, Elladell Morris, told him in court that she prayed he wouldn’t return to the lifestyle he’d had before his arrest.

Prosecutors said Morris, who was not a gang member, was mistakenly hit during a retaliatory gang shooting outside a Tacoma convenience store.

As part of plea negotiations, deputy prosecutor Jesse Williams asked that Tucker’s guilty plea to other charges related to the shooting be dropped, leaving him to be sentenced as an adult for the one count of second-degree murder.

Judge Susan Serko then accepted the sentence recommended by Williams and defense attorney Michael Clark.

Williams told the court that Tucker “has at every point reflected to me a level of remorse.”

Clark agreed and noted that Tucker suffered a broken jaw at Remann Hall related to his plea.

“He was in a difficult situation of his own making,” Clark told the judge about Tucker’s role in the shooting.

Before Serko announced the sentence, she told Tucker: “It sounds to me like Ms. Morris does forgive you. This is an admirable thing, to have owned up to this horrific, horrific event.”

Morris and Nancy Pringle, Brandon Morris’ grandmother, introduced themselves to Tucker’s family as they sat in court.

Pringle told Tucker’s family of her sorrow upon hearing that Tucker’s 3-year-old brother had recently died in an accidental fire.

And Elladell Morris told Tucker’s family it meant a lot to her that Tucker had approached her on a previous day in court to apologize.

He did so again at his sentencing.

Outside the courthouse, a woman who identified herself only as Tucker’s aunt shook her head at Morris’ forgiveness.

“That’s a good woman,” she said. “That’s a good woman.”

Also convicted in Brandon Morris’ death are 17-year-old Jeremy Bolieu, 17-year-old Jermohnn Gore, 24-year-old Alexander Kitt, 18-year-old Clifford Krentkowski, and 18-year-old Lance Milton-Ausley.

Bolieu was sentenced to 15 years, three months in July.

The others await sentencing.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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