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15-year-old accused in shooting death of 1-year-old boy

June 28, 2012 |  5:59 pm

 Donald Ray DokinsLos Angeles police have charged a reputed teenage gang member with murder, accusing him of firing into a crowd in Watts earlier this month, killing a 1-year-old boy while his father cradled him in his arms, authorities said Thursday.

The 15-year-old boy, identified as Donald Ray Dokins, is a suspected Fudgetown Mafia Crip gang member. Prosecutors charged Dokins as an adult with one count each of first degree murder and attempted murder.

Dokins was taken into custody Wednesday after LAPD detectives obtained information linking him to the June 4 shooting that killed Angel Mauro Cortez Nava and wounded his father, Mauro Cortez, according to court documents and law enforcement sources familiar with the case. 

Dokins was identified as a suspect within days of Angel's death, according to the June 13 search warrant affidavit.

In addition to that slaying, the teen is believed to be "a suspect in previous murders," according to the court papers. LAPD Criminal-Gang Homicide detectives did not elaborate in the affidavit on details of those crimes or possible victims.

Detectives describe Dokins as a member of a clique within the Fudgetown gang call T.Funk Ridaz, which communicated through Facebook, the search warrant states. One of the electronic photos gleaned from the suspect's Facebook page shows him wearing a hat with the T.Funk Ridaz moniker. Another shows him throwing gang signs.

The shooting sparked outrage in South Los Angeles, and political and civic leaders offered $100,000 in reward money.

The boy's father, Mauro Cortez, and several other people in their extended family were gathered around a car outside their home in the 10500 block of Hickory Street. As the group was talking, an assailant wearing a gray shirt rode by on a bicycle and fired multiple times into the crowd.

A bullet hit the little boy in the stomach as he was cradled by Cortez, who was hit in the left shoulder, according the court documents. A short time before the shooting, Cortez been wearing a purple shirt, the color identified with the neighborhood gang, Barrio Grape Street, who are rivals with the Fudgetown Mafia Crip gang.

But LAPD officials were adament that Cortez is not a gang member and believe the shirt did not play a direct role in the shooting.

Friends and family said Cortez, the baby's father, is an immigrant from Jalisco, Mexico, who did odd jobs. He was living with a family on the street who took him in three years ago as their adopted son.


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--Angel Jennings and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Donald Ray Dokins. Credit: Search warrant filed in Superior Court.