One of three men convicted of the shooting death of a former Narbonne High School basketball standout in Harbor City was sentenced Monday to 45 years to life in state prison.
David Lee Allen, 36, was found guilty last November of one count of first-degree murder for Shailo Leafa’s March 5, 2014, killing, along with two counts of attempted murder involving one man who was wounded and another who escaped injury, according to Deputy District Attorney Robert Song.
Allen was charged along with co-defendants Khalif Azon Ferguson, 38, and Ferguson’s cousin, Jasper, 29.
Jurors deadlocked in their first trial.
The two cousins subsequently pleaded no contest last November to voluntary manslaughter and were each sentenced to 19 years in state prison.
Leafa was shot while with two friends in a parking lot after an earlier confrontation that resulted in the three defendants being called to the scene, according to the prosecutor. The victim died a short time later after being taken to a hospital, authorities said.
The victim’s girlfriend, Lauryn Dodd, told Superior Court Judge Judith Meyer that Leafa “was only 21 years old for 21 days,” and recounted her last three weeks with the man she said “was and will always be the love of my life.”
The victim’s mother, Neise Leafa, said she had lost her oldest son, and told the judge, “Today is Shailo’s day.”
“Your foolishness and ignorance has forever changed our lives,” she said, directly addressing the defendant while noting later that she forgives him and prays that he makes the most of his life behind bars.
The judge said she was trying to make Allen’s sentence “somewhat consistent” with those of his co-defendants, but noted that a comment he allegedly made during an undercover jail operation in April 2016 about “that shit being fun” was “egregious.”
The Daily Breeze reported that the prosecutor told jurors that Allen was “gleefully taking credit for having done the shooting,” while his attorney, Jimmie Johnson, countered that Allen never admitted to the shooting during that conversation.
The three defendants were arrested by Los Angeles police in 2016 following a lengthy investigation into the shooting.
Leafa, a point guard, was the Los Angeles City Section’s 2010-11 Division II Player of the Year, helping lead Narbonne to the Division II championship. He later played at Fresno City College.