OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) --It took nearly three years, but the two men charged with shooting an Oakland toddler were found guilty Monday of murder. Three-year-old Carlos Nava was shot and killed in August 2011 while riding in his scooter with his mother.
The two men were apparently trying to shoot rival gang members, not the toddler, after Monday's verdict, District Attorney Nancy O'Malley said let this be a warning to others out there that if you kill a child in Oakland, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
"I'm grateful that justice was done in this case," prosecutor Sam Beltramo said Monday. He had little to say as he left the courtroom minutes after a jury found reputed gang members Lawrence Denard and Willie Torrence guilty on all counts in the 2011 murder of 3-year-old Carlos Nava.
"I'm grateful to the jury for the time and attention they paid. And again, my thoughts and condolences go out to all the victims in this case," he said.
Carlos was shot as his mother pushed him in his scooter on the sidewalk in front of a market on International Boulevard. His mother tried to get Carlos out of harm's way when gunfire erupted from a passing car.
Attorney Annie Beles, who represented Denard, said in court that she would move for a new trial for her client. "Deeply disappointed by the verdict, thank you," she said outside the courtroom.
After the verdict, at the location where little Carlos was killed, neighbor Elaine Carbajal said a prayer and lit a candle in the boy's memory. "I'm very emotional about this. I spent every day here when he passed away. And, I'm just glad for the justice that he's receiving finally after three years," she told ABC7 News.
Denard and Torrence will be back in court for sentencing on July 22 and could receive life in prison.