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Teen found guilty of murder in Melody Ross slaying

September 12, 2011 |  2:18 pm

Melody Ross memorial
A jury Monday found a Bellflower teenager guilty of first-degree murder in the 2009 gang shooting that left 16-year-old Melody Ross dead following a homecoming football game at Wilson High School in Long Beach.

The jury deliberated three days before also finding Tom Love Vinson, now 18, guilty of two counts of attempted murder and one count of attempted voluntary manslaughter, said Deputy L.A. County Dist. Atty. Dean Bengston.

The jury also found true the special allegations that Vinson personally and intentionally discharged a handgun and that he committed the crimes to further a street gang.

The jury found Vinson not guilty of a fourth count of attempted murder of a female student who was sitting next to Ross but who was not struck by gunfire.

Vinson, who was 16 at the time of the shooting, was convicted of opening fire on a group of students about 10 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2009. Ross was a bystander.

Two men, ages 18 and 20 at the time, were wounded.

Bengston said Vinson is facing more than 155 years to life in state prison when he returns Oct. 25 for sentencing by Judge Mark Kim.

A second teenager charged in the case, Daivion Davis, was sentenced Monday to eight years and four months in juvenile custody, Bengston said.

Davis, who was almost 16 at the time of the shooting and is now 17, pleaded no contest in July to one count each of manslaughter and attempted murder.


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-- Richard Winton

Photo: Friends and classmates in 2009 mourn 16-year-old Wilson High School student Melody Ross, who was shot and killed after a high school football game. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times