A member of the “Gangster Disciples” street gang was sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting an Aurora teenager over a Playstation 4 game console.
Arapahoe District Court Judge Ben L Leutwyler sentenced Erron Russell, 22, of Aurora for the Sept. 1, 2016, shooting that left the 16-year-old victim bleeding in the street with a gunshot wound.
The victim was contacted by Russell online because he was selling his Playstation 4. Russell agreed to buy the unit for $380, and the two met on a residential street near the Aurora Highlands Shopping Center.
As Russell approached, he pulled out a handgun, pointed at the victim’s face and told him to give up the game unit. When the victim refused, Russell shot him in the right thigh. He grabbed the Playstation and fled, leaving the victim lying in the middle of the street bleeding.
The victim helped Aurora Police identify the suspect from their online correspondence, and the teen recovered from his injuries. Investigators tracked down evidence that the defendant sold the Playstation at a pawn shop shortly after the robbery.
Russell pleaded guilty on April 3 to aggravated robbery with the use of a deadly weapon, a Class 3 felony.
During sentencing on June 5, Senior Deputy District Attorney Thomas Byrnes asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence available under the plea agreement, citing “terribly aggravating factors” in the case.
This defendant had “no regard at all for the victim or the impact this might have had on him,” Byrnes told the court. “He shot the victim and left him bleeding there in the street, over the cost and value of a used Playstation – and he showed off pictures of himself posing with gang signs and guns on social media.”
Judge Leutwyler praised the maturity of the victim, who told the court he had forgiven Russell but wanted him to go to prison.
District Attorney George Brauchler was pleased with the outcome.
“There is no place in our community for a miscreant who would shoot another human being over a video game console.” he said. “Unbridled lawlessness must be treated severely. And in this jurisdiction it is. The judge did the right thing here.”