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Life without parole for man who killed family


Four young children and their grandmother

A Lancaster man was sentenced this week to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the shooting deaths of his four young children and their grandmother as she was babysitting them.

Germarcus Lamar David, 32, was convicted last month of five counts of first-degree murder for the Nov. 28, 2021, killings of his 11-year-old daughter, Namiyah, and his three sons, Germarcus Jr., 7, Kayden, 2, and Noah, 1, along with his mother-in-law, Ericka England, 51, who was babysitting the children while their mother was having dinner with friends.

The Lancaster jury also found true the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders, along with finding David guilty of three counts of assault on a child causing death involving his three youngest children.

Deputy District Attorney Vanessa Zuniga had urged jurors to convict David of the most serious charges of first-degree murder, while defense attorney Anna Brief called on the panel to find the lesser option of second-degree murder for a man whom she said did the “unimaginable.''

In her closing argument, the prosecutor told jurors that “each of the victims were shot multiple times.''

The deputy district attorney told the panel to “hold him responsible for what he did,'' noting that the prosecution's theory is that David was upset that his estranged wife was moving on with her life after seeking a divorce upon learning of his extramarital relationship in which he fathered a child.

“He still wanted to be with her,'' Zuniga said, telling jurors that he wanted to make his estranged wife feel the way he felt when she “finally said no.''

The prosecutor said David called his estranged wife twice as he sat in the driveway after returning home early from his job as a security guard and fired 20 shots–with each shot hitting one of his targets–about seven minutes after he entered the family's home.

She noted that the shots can be heard on surveillance video from outside the house, with eight initial shots and another nine gunshots 12 seconds later and three louder gunshots starting about two minutes later.

Zuniga–who showed the jury graphic photos of the victims' injuries–said some of the victims were shot with both a gun and a shotgun, and called the killings “willful, deliberate and premeditated.''

“He knows what he did,'' the deputy district attorney said, telling jurors that he “did it to get back'' at his estranged wife. “He's finished off those that she loved.''

The defendant tossed the gun in a desert area after driving away and then went to a Los Angeles County sheriff's station, where he asked a deputy to detain him and said, “It was a murder,'' Zuniga told the jury.

David's attorney told jurors the case was “a homicide,'' and that identification is “not an issue in this case.''

The defense lawyer urged the panel to find him guilty of second-degree murder instead of the more serious offense of first-degree murder.

Brief told jurors that the jealousy was already stewing in her client's head when he heard the children's mother on a phone call catching up with a male friend two days before the killings and that his brain was trying to process that his marriage was dissolving.