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Milwaukee man gets 44 years for playground shooting death

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee man who shot and killed a 10-year-old on a playground during a gunfight with another man has been sentenced to 44 years in prison.

Sierra Guyton, a third-grader, was playing with her 12-year-old sister at the Clark Street Elementary School playground May 21 when she was shot in the head during the crossfire. She held on for months, but was taken off life support in July.

Sylvester Akeem Lewis, 19, was convicted of reckless homicide for her death last month. His lawyer argued Lewis was only trying to defend himself in a gunfight. Before his sentencing on Friday, he read a short letter apologizing for Guyton’s death.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Daniel Konkol sentenced Lewis to 44 years in prison, with terms for 17 years of extended supervision after he’s released. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Konkol denied a call for a lighter sentence from Lewis’ attorney.

Scott Anderson argued his client’s tough upbringing — Lewis was abandoned by his parents at age 12 — made him a “product of societal ills.” He asked for a 30-year sentence.

Guyton’s parents weren’t in court for the sentencing. Malcom Hunt, a minister with Pastors United for Community Advocacy, said her parents are still struggling with young girl’s death. They preferred Lewis get the maximum sentence of 67-1/2 years.

Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com

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