A man who was convicted of murdering three men and wounding four other people in a shooting at a bowling alley in Torrance while he was on parole was sentenced Friday to three consecutive life terms in prison without the possibility of parole.
Jurors found Reginald Leander Wallace, now 51, of Los Angeles, guilty June 24 of three counts of first-degree murder for the killings of Michael Radford, 20, and Robert Meekins and Astin Edwards, both 28, just before midnight Jan. 4, 2019 at Gable House Bowl at 22501 Hawthorne Blvd.
The panel also convicted Wallace of four counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon, along with finding true the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder with a prior murder conviction.
Shortly before being sentenced, Wallace admitted that he was convicted of murder as a juvenile in 1989 and as an adult in 1998 for assault with a firearm.
The judge cited Wallace’s prior convictions and the facts of the case in declining defense attorney Scott T. Johnson’s request to strike the special circumstance allegations, saying he believed it would be an abuse of his discretion.
Radford’s mother, Michelle Miller, told the defendant, “You tore up three families.”
She noted that her son wasn’t alive long enough to be on hand for his daughter’s first birthday, and said that she wanted to ensure that Wallace doesn’t ever walk out of prison again.
Meekins’ mother, Anglean Hubbard, said in a statement read in court on her behalf that she keeps asking herself why Wallace shot her son.
“Do you have any regrets?” she wrote, addressing the defendant. “Do you think about Robert? … As Robert’s mother, I hope you never see the light of day.”
In a letter read in court on his behalf, Meekins’ son also addressed the defendant, “He was my everything and you took all that away from me. I will never forgive you.”
Edwards’ sister, Ashley, called her brother’s killer a “coward,” and said “it doesn’t get any easier” as the four-year anniversary of his killing grows closer.
Wallace’s attorney said his client — whom he said has spent the majority of his life behind bars — feels “immense remorse” for what happened. He said Wallace is “not a monster” and is a “human being” who as a child was not given the chances others had.
Deputy District Attorney John Chang told the judge that he had recently re-watched the surveillance video of the crime, noting that Wallace had “so many choices” that night and could have taken a few steps out of the bowling alley but opted to insert himself into a melee in which police said a fight involving several people grew into a brawl involving as many as 15.
“The only just sentence in this case based on the defendant’s actions is the life without the possibility of parole sentencing,” the prosecutor said.
Outside court, fellow prosecutor Robert Song said Wallace used the fight as cover, pulled out a handgun and shot into the crowd in a gang-motivated attack involving what he perceived were his enemies.
Radford, Meekins and Edwards were pronounced dead at the scene. Two other people were taken to a hospital for treatment of their injuries and two other men sought medical attention on their own.
Wallace was arrested early Jan. 6, 2019, by Torrance police detectives and SWAT officers in the area of 4th Street and Western Avenue in Los Angeles, police said. He has remaiend behind bars since then.