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Gang Members' Convictions Upheld in 16-Year-Old Girl's Slaying

Cousins, Nickelis Darnell Blackwell and Rayshawn Blackwell were convicted of first-degree murder for the Jan. 26, 2008 shooting of Sammantha Salas.

A state appellate court panel Wednesday upheld the convictions of two gang members in the January 2008 slaying of a 16-year-old girl in Monrovia, CNS reported.

The three-justice panel from California's 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense's contentions that there were errors in the Burbank Superior Court trial of Nickelis Darnell Blackwell and Rayshawn Blackwell.

The two cousins were convicted of first-degree murder for the Jan. 26, 2008, shooting of Sammantha Salas, who was with two teenagers behind an apartment complex on Peck Road.    

Salas--who was not a gang member and not associated with any gang--was shot eight times in the head, neck, arm, back and thigh, according to the appellate court panel's 15-page ruling.  Another teenage girl was seriously wounded.

The justices noted that the Blackwells' uncle, Sanders Rollins, was shot to death in front of their home on Jan. 13, 2008, and that Nickelis Blackwell held Rollins as he was dying.

"Defendants retaliated by shooting at individuals in rival gang territory on two occasions--the night after Mr. Rollins's murder and the evening following his funeral," the justices wrote.

Nickelis Blackwell was sentenced to 200 years to life in prison, and his cousin was sentenced to 184 years to life.

R Terry March 08, 2012 at 07:31 PM
That means that one is eligible for parole in 100 years and the other in 92. But they have to have exhibited "good behavior"... : )
corey March 09, 2012 at 03:27 AM
they should have been put to death. why should i have to pay for them in prison? they took a life and their lives should be cut short just as hers was..
Pat McCrotch March 13, 2012 at 08:18 AM
I hate it when people get shot. We need to enforce the laws. Afterall murder is a crime isn't it ?
Russ bordeleau March 15, 2012 at 12:00 AM
The state should do overkill on,them
Jose cartel March 15, 2012 at 12:19 AM
Justice should go both ways. instead of sending the mexicans back to mexico, they should be tried and convicted as well
dandan March 15, 2012 at 01:56 AM
they should have been put to death.
Ahzane Jackson May 08, 2012 at 06:31 PM
well if you read more on it they dont have evidence on them just people remembering them from the neighborhood
who is it September 19, 2012 at 10:44 PM
I knew nick since i was young. He's a chump killing a poor innocent girl hope they check his paperwork when he hits that 180 yard hopefully theres one brother and i tell you there aint that much thats has dignity regulates him for being a baby killer and he p.cs up you aint righteous for doing that essays and whites handle that type of trash in the joint but like i tell you brothers are diffrent its a free for all for them Hopefully theres a black about his business.
KLH March 02, 2013 at 12:45 AM
I knew Nick when I was young as well. He was a typical bully in the sense that he only preyed on people smaller, younger , and weaker than him. He has to learn the hard way that no one is bigger than the justice system. no one. Just ask Martha Stewart.

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