LANCASTER (CNS)— A 33-year-old gang member was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Wednesday for the murder of a Lancaster man shot during a 2012 street brawl, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.
Cedric Carl Burton, Jr., also known as Dirty Devil and Lil Ced, was convicted by a jury on Sept. 12 of one count of murder and the special circumstance of lying in wait to commit murder and allegations that Burton personally discharged the handgun that killed Brandon Houston, 21.
Prior to the trial, Burton pleaded no contest to six counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and admitted the allegation that the killing was done for the benefit of a street gang.
It was the second time Burton was tried for the crime. An earlier jury trial ended in April in a mistrial, with a hung jury that voted 9-3 to convict him.
Burton was arrested in May 2016, nearly two years after three other defendants were tried and convicted in the death of Houston during a Nov. 29, 2012, brawl in a vacant lot on Gadsden Avenue. The three men convicted in 2014 of second-degree murder for Houston’s death were Randy Sullivan, Joshua Lockett and Terrell Henderson. All three are currently serving life sentences.
According to testimony during the 2014 trial, Houston tried to kiss his son goodbye but was pushed away by Henderson, who was dating Houston’s girlfriend’s sister. Then, according to trial testimony, Sullivan who is Henderson’s brother stepped out of the vehicle, declared he was a gang member and took off his shirt in preparation for a fight.
But Henderson and Sullivan eventually got back into the vehicle with Lockett, who is their cousin, along with Houston’s girlfriend and the child, and drove away, according to trial testimony.
Later that day, Sullivan, Lockett and Henderson returned with two more men prepared to brawl, according to testimony.
Prosecutors contend Burton was one of those two additional men and that he shot Houston during the street fight.
A witness to the brawl picked Burton from a photo lineup in 2014, according to trial testimony from the detective investigating the murder.
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