LANCASTER – The second of three men found guilty in connection with a 2012 daylight murder was sentenced in an Antelope Valley courtroom Friday.
Terrell Henderson was sentenced to serve 35 years to life in state prison for the death of Brandy “Brandon” Houston – the 21-year-old Lancaster man shot 12 times during an afternoon street brawl on Nov. 29, 2012.
The sentencing hearing was punctuated by an erratic courtroom speech from Henderson’s mother, Joyce Malone. Malone stood up and frantically apologized before charging over to the victim’s mother and giving her a hug. Henderson’s mother then scolded the judge for giving her son an “unfair” sentence, shouted words of encouragement to her son, and then stormed out of the courtroom.
“Son, I love you! You stay prayed up and you trust in God, cause God got the last word!” Malone told her son before leaving the courtroom.
Henderson removed his glasses and wept during his mother’s courtroom speech.
Henderson, 22, Joshua Lockett, 21, and Randy “Bam” Sullivan, 36, were all found guilty of second degree murder, though none of the three men actually shot Houston.
During the 21-day trial that began in March, prosecutor Jon Hatami successfully convinced the jury that the three defendants were equally responsible for Houston’s death because they brought the shooter to the scene; instigated and participated in a street brawl that ended in Houston’s death; and then left the scene with the shooter. (Read more about what caused the fight here.)
Homicide detectives are still looking for the shooter.
Houston was a “brave and loving angel gone too soon at the age of 21,” and family members were still heartbroken over his death, according to a victim impact statement from Houston’s sister, Chrishonda Coulter.
Houston had a cheerful smile, he was a devoted family man, and he had become a first-time father only four months before his death, the victim impact statement said.
On May 9, Joshua Lockett was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison for Houston’s murder. Henderson was sentenced to 35 years to life (more than double that of Lockett’s) because Henderson had a prior “strike” conviction for a residential burglary, the judge said Friday. The third defendant, Randy “Bam” Sullivan, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 9.
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