Shalander Givens denies any connection to the shooting that injured a 10-year-old girl and her father. And the first time a jury heard his case, two jurors did not cast guilty votes. But his second trial ended in a conviction and a sentence of more than 200 years in prison on a life sentence.
The crime lasted just a matter of seconds, but the repercussions will echo for a lifetime. Twenty shots from an assault rifle flew towards the car carrying a man and his two children. The father tried to shield his kids, but one bullet hit his 10-year-old daughter just above the eye. Another hit the father himself.
Police say Shalander Givens was the shooter. They say Givens hit the wrong targets, but he was looking for a similar car after he and his gang had a beef with some rivals. His attorney says fear of gangs led the jury to convict the wrong man.
"There's the fear of gang activity," said defense attorney Jane Boulger. "There's the emotional reaction when a child gets hurt so severely. You put those together and I think people are very afraid of what happens when there are drive-bys because the bullets go everywhere."
A neighbor identified givens as the shooter and police found phone records proving he was in the area at the time. The judge wouldn't let our camera in court, but he sentenced the 39-year-old to life in prison with no possibility of parole until he's served more than 200 years.
Gang history and parole violations made the sentence longer, but Givens' attorney says it's too much.
"It's unfair to get basically a death sentence when again, no one has been killed in this process," Boulger said.
"You do have a little girl whose life will never be the same," said an Action News reporter.
"Yes, definitely," Boulger said. "And that's absolutely true and that's why someone should go to prison if they're convicted of that. But forever?"
Action News talked briefly with the victims' family Monday. Everyone survived, but the now 13-year-old girl is permanently disabled. They were happy with the result, but didn't want to speak publicly.