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Santa Clarita / Antelope Valley : Half-Brother to Stand Trial in Slaying : Violence: Eric Lamont Gunn allegedly fired into a crowd at a pay-to-enter party in Lancaster, killing Rayshaun Love. Two men who were wounded testify.

March 10, 1994|SHARON MOESER | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LANCASTER — Rayshaun Love would have celebrated his 18th birthday Wednesday.

Instead, Love's half-brother, Eric Lamont Gunn, was ordered Wednesday to stand trial in Love's slaying at a pay-to-enter party in Lancaster.

Love was killed early Dec. 19 when the party he and another 100 or so people attended turned violent. Gunn, 23, was arrested and charged with murder less than two days later. He also is charged with two counts of attempted murder and one count of rock cocaine possession.

Antelope Municipal Judge Ian R. Grant ordered Gunn to answer the charges after a preliminary hearing that included testimony from two other men who were wounded at the party. A Superior Court arraignment was scheduled for March 29.

According to court records, Gunn took out a small handgun after fellow party-goer Darius Perry accidentally spilled beer on Gunn's shoes. Gunn shot Perry, 20, in the shoulder and then fired into the crowd, fatally shooting his half-brother and wounding Brian Donnell Macklin, 21, prosecutors have alleged.

Hours after the shooting, Perry identified Gunn as the person who had shot him and fired into the crowd. He also told a sheriff's detective he could identify Gunn.

But during testimony Wednesday, Perry said, "I ain't sure," when asked if Gunn was the one who shot him. Perry testified that he got in a fight with someone at the party, but that he could not remember with whom.

"I seen two people with guns (at the party)," said Perry, who testified that he is a gang member. "I seen a lot of people with guns."

Deputy Dist. Atty. Steven D. Ogden asked Perry: "Is it customary for one gang member not to testify against another?" to which Perry replied, "I never heard of that."

"I believe . . . Mr. Perry was not indeed testifying truthfully today as to who shot him," Ogden said.

Macklin, who was wounded in the left upper arm and right hip, testified that Perry told him Gunn was the person who shot him.

Perry and Macklin met while they were hospitalized after the shooting, Macklin said. "He (Perry) told me he was hit by Gunn; he was the one that was firing."

During the hearing, Martha Jordan, the mother of Love and Gunn, wept openly at times. She declined to comment on the case.

But Manuel R. Martinez, Jr., a public defender representing Gunn, later said that there is no strong evidence against his client.

In the wake of Love's killing, a law was passed by the Lancaster City Council that outlaws pay-to-enter parties in residential neighborhoods. The ordinance took effect Monday. A maximum fine of $500 and/or six months in jail can be imposed on anyone holding such parties.

Love's killing is not the first to occur at a pay-to-enter party in the Antelope Valley. Since 1990, two other deaths and numerous injuries have occurred at the get-togethers.

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