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One gets death, another life in prison for deadly Compton shooting

Ronald Earl Brim is sentenced to die for a shooting at a Compton Metro station that killed two and hurt three. Co-defendant Leo Lloyd Adams gets life in prison.

October 03, 2013|By Jill Cowan

When Ronald Earl Brim sprayed bullets into a crowd of evening commuters at a Compton Metro station, he hit his marks — and more.

He killed the two men he was aiming at and wounded three bystanders, including a mother who was returning home from grocery shopping with her young daughter.

On Thursday, Brim, 48, was sentenced to death for his crimes.

His co-defendant, Leo Lloyd Adams, who supplied Brim with the gun used in the shooting, received life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors said the September 2008 shooting followed a gang-related dispute at the station. Brim was summoned to the scene by one of his friends involved in the fight.

Brim, in turn, asked Adams to bring him a gun. Deputy Dist. Atty. Charles Chaiyarachta said Brim grabbed the weapon and opened fire, killing Debruce Smith, 20, and Terry Dozier, 24, two men involved in the confrontation.

At the hearing Thursday, 13-year-old Carmen Flores-Guerrero presented a letter she had written in Spanish describing how she and her mother tried to flee from the gunfire. She said her mother told her to grab her hand, "but by then, her hand was full of blood."

Her mother, Francisca Flores, died about a year after the shooting of what the coroner's office ruled were unrelated causes, Chaiyarachta said.

Debruce Smith's father also spoke at the hearing. He criticized Brim and Adams for showing no remorse.

"That was my baby," he said, his gravelly voice low. "That was a cold thing. It kills me every day."

Bearded, dressed in a blue jail jumpsuit and handcuffed to a chair, Brim maintained his innocence throughout the hearing.

"I feel sorry for everybody that got hurt at that train station," he told the court. "Sooner or later we will get to the bottom of it.... I hope it's not too late."

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler rattled off a list of Brim's past crimes, which included selling drugs and participating in the kidnapping, torture and killing of a man.

In upholding the jury's death penalty verdict, Fidler said the evidence against Brim was "overwhelming," and that the "indiscriminate" nature of the shooting factored heavily into the sentence.

While no one spoke on Brim's behalf, about a dozen friends and family members of Adams were allowed to exchange tearful goodbyes with the 31-year-old from the gallery.

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