A state appeals court panel today upheld the convictions of two gang members for the Christmas Day 2012 killing of a civilian Sheriff’s Department employee who was struck by stray gunfire from a gang shooting in Pasadena.
But the three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal ordered the case of Larry Darnell Bishop Jr. and Jerron Donald Harris to be sent back to allow a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to exercise his discretion on whether to strike firearms enhancements against the two, who were sentenced in April 2017 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Bishop and Harris were convicted in April 2016 of first-degree murder for Victor McClinton’s slaying, along with the attempted murder of the intended target, who was wounded and ended up crashing his vehicle into a tree.
The jury was the second to consider the case against them; the first panel deadlocked in July 2015.
The fatally injured victim — who was active in mentoring and coaching youth sports — was shot while walking a friend to his car when gunfire erupted at Newport Avenue and Wyoming Street. Pasadena police arrested Bishop three days after the shooting of the 49-year-old law enforcement technician and father of two, and Harris was taken into custody early the next month.
“There is a massive hole in my heart that will never be filled,” McClinton’s widow told the judge at the April 2017 sentencing for Bishop and Harris. “How do you learn to continue on with life? This is pain I would not wish on anyone. It is beyond devastating. Some days are simply unbearable and you can’t imagine how to keep moving. How will I find peace? How will my family and I heal? I don’t think anyone ever heals from such a tragic, unnecessary ordeal like this. You just continue to function like a robot going from day to day, but never really getting over the grief.”
Shelly McClinton said her husband was the “type of person who believed in helping out anyone in need” and cried as she heard a tape- recording of his voice from the time he was honored as KNX’s Hero of the Week for his work with youth sports.
The victim’s widow testified in June 2015 that she originally thought the shots were fireworks, but then discovered her husband laying on the ground.