GRAND RAPIDS (AP) – Four men have received long federal prison sentences for the gang-related 2010 kidnapping and murder of a 19-year-old Lansing woman who was fatally shot in a car trunk outside her home.
The longest sentence of life in prison for premeditated murder went to 36-year-old Charles Lewis Sr., who authorities say fired the rifle shots that killed Shayla Johnson.
Twenty-six-year-old Mustafa Al-Din was sentenced to 50-years, his 25-year-old brother Walee Al-Din to 60-years and 24-year-old Raphael Crenshaw to 47-years in prison.
Police say Shayla Johnson was dragged out of her bed on July 23, 2010 and thrown into the trunk of a car, where she was shot multiple times. According to testimony, Lewis Sr. was the gunman.
Prosecutors say the men were tied to the “Block Burners” gang and wanted to kidnap Johnson to force her boyfriend to turn over cash and drugs.
“The defendants wrongly believed Shayla Johnson had access to a large amount of marijuana plants. The defendants planned to kidnap her in order to compel her to disclose the location of the marijuana plants,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kaye Hooker said in a statement.
“Acting on their plan the defendants entered her home, forced her from her bedroom, and brutally shoved her into the trunk of a vehicle. When Ms. Johnson fought back, she was fatally shot multiple times with an assault rifle,” Hooker added.
A total of eight people were charged in the case, including Lewis Sr.’s son, who was just 13-years-old at the time.
The teen was convicted of first-degree murder in 2012 and is being held at a high-security juvenile facility. Three others pleaded guilty to murder during the commission of a drug transaction and are serving at least 20 years in federal prison, The Lansing State Journal reported.