SAGINAW (WWJ/AP) – A 24-year-old man will spend the rest of his life behind bars for killing a 6-year-old girl in a drive-by shooting during a revenge attack on another man.
Michael Lawrence was sentenced earlier this week after being convicted in January of first-degree murder in the Aug. 29, 2012 death of Lay’la Jones.
Authorities say Lawrence and Rico Saldana, 22, were targeting a third man for an earlier killing when Lay’la was fatally shot outside her aunt’s home in Saginaw.
Before Judge Darnell Jackson sentenced Lawrence, the convict apologized to Lay’la’s mother but denied killing her. Jackson gave Saldana the same sentence Feb. 20.
“I did not shoot her daughter,” he said. I want her to know that.”
Another man charged in the case, 23-year-old JeVonne Greer, was sentenced last September to spend the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted on 18 felony counts, including murder.
Lawrence is awaiting another murder trial for the April 15, 2013 death of 23-year-old Angelica Olivarez, the mother of Lawrence’s son. According to police, Olivarez’s body was discovered after her 3-year-old son was found wandering the streets near their home. It took investigators several months to track down Lawrence, who was eventually captured in Las Vegas last August.
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