Eric Sims, 29, a member of the Bloods street gang, was convicted in October of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Montarius Pigrum and of six counts of the attempted first-degree murder of Pigrum’s friends.
Investigators said the victims were mistaken for rival gang members that Sims and two accomplices were seeking to punish for an earlier incident. Sims chased and fired at the teens as they ran through a neighborhood.
“These victims were absolutely innocent,” Criminal Court Judge James Lammey Jr. said in a sentencing hearing. “They were just walking down the street.”
The shooting occurred around 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 2, 2013, in the 3900 block of Bertram Cove in the Oakhaven area east of the airport.
Lammey agreed with state prosecutors that Sims should receive 25 years for each of the attempted murders and an additional six years on each for employing a firearm with intent to commit a dangerous felony. The sentences are to be served consecutively.
Two codefendants in the case pleaded guilty to lesser offenses last November. Neither had a weapon.
The case was handled by Ray Lepone, chief prosecutor of the DA’s Multi-Agency Gang Prosecution Unit (MGPU), and by Asst. Dist. Atty. Neal Oldham, also of the special unit.
The MGPU handles homicide cases and other violent crimes associated with gang activity, specific targeted gang members and special cases assigned by the DA.
Prosecutors in the unit work daily with the MGU Operations team, using local ordinances and state and federal laws to hold offenders accountable.