A judge Wednesday sentenced a former Star Spencer High School football player to 20 years in prison for his role in a car-to-car shooting that left a teenager dead.
Jurors found Darrin Paul Burton Jr., 21, of Midwest City, guilty of second-degree murder and related crimes in the June 14, 2011, death of Khaelin Irving, 17.
The panel, though, did not find that Burton acted with malice aforethought and rejected a first-degree murder charge.
“I can't imagine shooting a gun in the direction of another human being,” said Oklahoma County District Judge Jerry D. Bass, who sentenced Burton to 14 years for the murder and six years for intentionally shooting a firearm from another vehicle.
The sentences will run consecutively.
Irving was riding in a car with three other people, including his brother, when a gold car began following them near NE 23 and Douglas Boulevard after a confrontation at a traffic signal, prosecutors said.
Burton, a passenger in the gold car, told jurors he fired a single shot in self-defense when someone in the victim's car pointed a chrome revolver in his direction near the intersection of Shadywood Drive and NE 10.
Co-defendant Davian Blair pleaded guilty in the case and received a reduced sentence in exchange for his testimony. Asked at trial if he saw anyone in the other car with a gun, Blair, the driver of the gold car, answered, “No.”
Burton's father asked the judge for mercy Wednesday, saying his son was a “good boy” who made a bad decision.
“He wasn't raised like that,” the father said.