On February 19, 2018, 61-year-old former Marine John Ruh was shot three times during an attempted robbery as he finished his shift at VP Fuels and Drive-thru Dairy in the Antelope Valley. Gang members Denmonne Lee, who was 16 at the time, distracted Mr. Ruh, and Deonata Johnson shot him. Video footage caught Denmonne Lee smiling as walked out the door. After the murder, Lee sent a threatening video to a witness, promising to shoot her in her eye. The law allows for a 16-year old to be charged with murder in criminal court. Gascon’s Youth Justice Policy mandates that 16- and 17-year olds shall NEVER be charged in criminal court. Because of Gascon’s policies, Denmonne Lee will serve only a few years in custody. Gascon’s blanket Enhancement Policy required the prosecutor to ask that the Special Circumstance of murder during a robbery as well as gang and gun allegations be dismissed on defendant Deonata Johnson.
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