MILWAUKEE (AP) — A jury Wednesday convicted a 19-year-old Milwaukee man of reckless homicide in the shooting death of a 10-year-old girl who was caught in a crossfire at an elementary school playground in May.
Jurors deliberated about 20 minutes before finding Sylvester Akeem Lewis guilty in the death of Sierra Guyton, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Sierra, a third-grader, was playing with her 12-year-old sister at the Clarke Street Elementary School playground when she was shot in the head May 21. Sierra was taken off life support at Children’s Hospital in July. Her death spurred a call to curb violence in Milwaukee.
A prosecutor argued Lewis acted in “utter disregard for human life” when he engaged in gunfire while up to 50 children were on the playground.
Assistant Milwaukee County District Attorney Mark Williams said a total of 16 shots were fired, including eight by someone shooting back at Lewis.
“It was a miracle more people weren’t shot,” Williams said.
The defense maintained Lewis was so focused on defending himself from the shots fired at him that he was unaware of the danger to the nearby children.
“There was chaos, I agree,” Williams told jurors. “He caused the chaos. He came there with a gun.”
The prosecutor added, “And even if someone did fire first, you don’t shoot toward 50 kids.”
Lewis faces upward of 40 years in prison at his Nov. 26 sentencing.
Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com