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By Felix Adamo/ The Californian
BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
A jury convicted a gang member of murder Tuesday in connection with a co-defendant for ripping a necklace off the neck of an elderly woman who died after falling during the crime.
Maxamillon Lee McDonald faces a maximum of 35 years to life at sentencing, a Kern County District Attorney's office news release said. The jury also convicted him of two counts of robbery and participating in a criminal street gang.
McDonald, 27, was an active member of the East Side Crips when he committed the crime, authorities said.
Authorities have said McDonald was the getaway driver in the Aug. 19 robbery of 72-year-old Guadalupe Ramos. The victim had traveled to Bakersfield to shop at the Foods Co. market on Haley Street.
As she was walking to her car in the parking lot with her daughter and granddaughter by her side, a man approached her and pulled off her necklace, knocking her to the ground, prosecutors said. Ramos died of cardiac arrest due to an irregular heartbeat brought about by blunt force trauma.
The assailant, identified in reports filed in court as Christopher Harvell Patterson, ran to a car occupied by McDonald and Lawrence Gregory Slaughter. McDonald drove away as a witness to the crime chased them.
Slaughter was on parole at the time and was wearing an ankle monitor that gave a precise reading of his whereabouts the night of the robbery, according to Bakersfield police reports filed in court.
McDonald was also convicted Tuesday of the robbery of a 49-year-old woman who was leaving the Food Maxx store on Ming Avenue. Prosecutors said McDonald approached the woman from behind, knocked her to the ground and stole her gold necklace.
Slaughter is currently on trial, and Patterson is scheduled for a readiness hearing April 26.