Man Sentenced to 40 Years for Tragic Road Rage Shooting of 6-Year-Old Aiden Leos

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 04/14/2024
A court decided on Friday that a California man who killed a six-year-old in a fit of fury on the road will serve 40 years to life in prison. A jury found 27-year-old Marcus Eriz guilty of killing Aiden Leos earlier this year.

Aiden was riding to school in the rear seat of his mother's automobile on May 21, 2021. Joanna Cloonan, Aiden's mother, flipped at a vehicle in a Volkswagen who had cut her off as they were traveling on State Route 55.

In the vehicle, Eriz was a passenger, and he accidentally shot the six-year-old. Later on, Aiden passed away at a hospital in Orange County, California. It was disclosed during Eriz's trial that Aiden's heart, liver, and lung were punctured by the bullet.

It took the California Highway Patrol two weeks to apprehend Eriz after their "intense manhunt" for the gunman. Also taken into custody by the police was Wynne Lee, the driver of the Volkswagen.

"It is unbearable to witness a mother's desperate search for a means to assist her dying child," Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said after Friday's sentence.

A jury found Eriz guilty in January of two counts of second-degree murder, firing into a moving car, and two felonies related to the personal discharge of a handgun that resulted in significant harm or death.

Superior Court Judge Richard King handed down the 27-year-old's punishment on Friday, dictating that he would spend 40 years to life in state prison.

Mr. Spitzer praised Judge King for seeing that the murder was not an inadvertent error, but rather the act of a cold-blooded killer more concerned with his life after jail than the tiny kid whose life he ruined before it even started.

Ms. Lee is now awaiting trial on one misdemeanor count of possessing a hidden handgun in a vehicle and one felony count of accessory after the fact.

According to NBC News, Eriz expressed regret in court before to his punishment.

He was a friend to others, a little brother, and a son. He seemed to be one of God's little angels and to have brightened everyone's day wherever he went, according to Eriz. "And I sincerely apologize for ever hurting him and for the suffering he endured as a result of my actions."

"He was not deserving of it. And his family did not either," Eriz went on.


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