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Youth Gets 7 Years in Gardena Shooting

Two others are expected to receive probation in incident at high school.

May 29, 2003|Akilah Johnson | Times Staff Writer

Avoiding a possible life sentence, a 17-year-old youth was sentenced to seven years in state prison for a shooting at Gardena High School last year that left two students wounded.

Kory Dewayne Corothers pleaded no contest Wednesday to charges of assault with a firearm and was sentenced by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Pierce.

In exchange for the pleas, prosecutors dropped charges of attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery -- punishable by up to life in prison.

As part of the settlement, Corothers' accomplices, Gary Brooks and Darius Robinson, both 18, avoided prison. Prosecutors said both will be sentenced to three years' probation in July for attempted robbery.

"Of the three, I felt [Corothers] was certainly more culpable," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Marilyn Seymour. "He's the one who had the gun and fired it."

On Feb. 6, 2002, between class periods, the three youths approached student Carlos Flores outside a restroom near the center of Gardena High's 25-acre campus and demanded money, authorities said.

Flores turned to walk away and was shot in the back. Student Stephanie Alonzo, a bystander, was shot in the hip.

Police locked down the school while they searched for the three assailants, all students at the school.

About 500 of the school's, 2,300 students were kept in their classrooms for nearly five hours during the unsuccessful search.

Corothers, Brooks and Robinson surrendered to authorities later that week.

Corothers' attorney, Deputy Public Defender Leslie Allenby, would not elaborate on her client's motive for the shooting.

She did say she was pleased that he had accepted the district attorney's offer.

"Let me put it to you this way," she said. "He was looking at the rest of his life in prison."

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