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Gang member convicted of murdering 'Judging Amy' actress

January 23, 2009 |  6:50 pm

A 23-year-old gang member was convicted Friday of murdering an actress on the TV show "Judging Amy" and another person during a two-day shooting spree in the Inglewood area.

The actress, Tara Correa-McMullen, 16, was killed Oct. 21, 2005. Inglewood police said she was shot several times in the torso while standing outside an apartment complex on East Plymouth Street about 5:45 p.m. Two men also were shot but survived.

Prosecutors alleged that Damien Watts and a co-defendant who has yet to stand trial were involved in several gang-related shootings at that time.

Watts also was convicted of killing 31-year-old Thomas Sanders. The district attorney's office did not seek the death penalty. Watts faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Feb. 27.

On "Judging Amy," Correa-McMullen played a troubled and remorseless teenager, Graciela Reyes, who had been abandoned by her mother and two brothers who fled to Guatemala.

Judge Amy, played by Amy Brenneman, tries to turn Graciela's life around, but the teen gets involved in a drive-by shooting. Judge Amy attempts to prevent Graciela from being tried as an adult. She fails, but almost succeeds in getting her a new trial when Graciela is murdered in prison.

Correa-McMullen also was a co-star in the Martin Lawrence film "Rebound."

—Shelby Grad

Photo: Tara Correa-McMullen with Martin Lawrence in "Rebound."

Credit: 20th Century Fox

EARLIER: Actress' slaying shocks friends, family