A man was found guilty of second-degree murder on Thursday in the 2021 road rage shooting on a Southern California highway that left a 6-year-old boy dead, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
A jury also found Marcus Anthony Eriz, 26, guilty of shooting into an occupied vehicle and discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury and death in the killing of Aiden Leos.
Aiden was sitting in a booster seat in the back seat of his mother’s car as she drove him to school when he was shot on the morning of May 21, 2021, CNN previously reported. The kindergartener died at a hospital.
Eriz and his girlfriend, Wynne Lee, 26, were arrested weeks later.
Video from the courtroom showed Eriz did not react to the verdict on Thursday after it was read.
Randall S. Bethune, Eriz’s attorney, had no comment.
The boy’s mother testified that she flipped Lee and Eriz off after Lee cut her off while traveling on a freeway, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
“After driving away, she said she heard a large noise and heard her son say, ‘ow,’ before pulling over (to) the side of the freeway and pulling Aiden out of his car seat and calling 911,” the release said.
“Six-year-old boys should be playing outside in the sunshine, soaking in all the magic and wonder that is boyhood, not lying dead in a tiny, child-size coffin because a man he never met decided to execute him for no conceivable reason,” District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a social media post Thursday.
“While we will never know what Aiden would have become, we know that the pursuit of justice did not end until his killer was captured and this child murderer was prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Eriz faces 40 years to life in state prison when he is scheduled to be sentenced on April 12, the district attorney’s office said.
Lee, who was driving when the shooting happened, was charged with one felony count of accessory after the fact and one misdemeanor count of having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, according to the district attorney’s office. She has pleaded not guilty, CNN previously reported.
Lee is awaiting trial and is out of custody on GPS monitoring after posting a $100,000 bond in July 2021. She faces three years in state prison and one year in an Orange County jail if convicted on all charges.
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