OAKLAND -- Four North Oakland gang members were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Friday for killing three people in a drive-by shooting and an ensuing car crash in Berkeley and Oakland in 2009.
In April, a jury found Samuel Flowers, 25, Rafael Campbell, 28, Anthony Price, 30, and Stephon Anthony, 26, guilty of murder for gunning down Charles Davis, 23, in Berkeley and for killing Todd Perea, 27, and Floyd Ross Jr., 42, in the Oakland crash that followed.
Minutes after the May 2009 shooting on Allston Way in Berkeley, police began chasing the four gang members in their car that crashed into another car at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Way and Aileen Street, killing Perea. One of the cars then hit and killed Floyd Ross Jr., 42, who was walking across the street.
During sentencing Friday, Davis' aunt, Phyllis Ford, told the defendants that their mothers did not have to bury them and called what they did "hideous, barbaric and inexcusable."
"We may forgive you in time, but we will never forget what you have done," Ford said.
A victim's advocate read a statement by Perea's mother, Barbara Wilson, who wept.
"His love, joy and happiness are gone in my life now and forever," the statement said. "I am sentenced to life without complete happiness."
Anthony and Price were arrested at the crash scene, but Campbell and Flowers escaped. Flowers was caught two weeks later in Florida, and Campbell was caught six months later in Sacramento.
In finding all four guilty of three murders, the jury concluded that the group worked together to plan the killing of Davis and found that all four were responsible for the deaths of Perea and Ross Jr. because they all agreed to participate in a plan to kill Davis.
Attorneys representing the four gave different defenses but all denied their clients were members of a gang.
Anthony's attorney, Darryl Stallworth, admitted his client led police on a high-speed chase and said he should be found guilty of causing death during a police chase. But Stallworth argued that his client never intended to kill the three victims.
Doug Oakley covers Berkeley and the Oakland school district. Contact him at 510-843-1408. Follow him on Twitter.com/douglasoakley.