Man Who Killed Boy, 6, in Road Rage Shooting Sentenced

Marcus Eriz gets 40 years to life in the death of Aiden Leos
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2024 6:30 AM CDT
Man Who Killed 6-Year-Old in Road Rage Shooting Sentenced
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer speaks alongside a portrait of victim Aiden Leos during a news conference following the sentencing of Marcus Eriz, Friday, April 12, 2024., Friday, April 12, 2024, in Santa Ana, Calif.   (Mark Rightmire/The Orange County Register via AP)

The man who fatally shot a 6-year-old boy amid a road rage incident in California's Orange County in 2021 was sentenced Friday. Marcus Eriz, 26, will serve 40 years to life behind bars, NBC Los Angeles reports. He was convicted in January of charges including second-degree murder in the death of Aiden Leos, who was riding in a booster seat in the backseat of his mother's car on his way to kindergarten when Wynne Lee, Eriz's girlfriend, allegedly flashed a peace sign as she swerved in front of Leos' mom, Joanna Cloonan, on the freeway, cutting her off so closely that Cloonan says she had to brake. Cloonan testified in Eriz's trial that she was concerned and didn't want to be near the car, and raised a middle finger as she changed lanes and passed it, ABC 7 reported at the time. That's when Eriz, Lee's passenger, got his gun and shot toward Cloonan's car.

He told investigators he couldn't say exactly why he did it: "Because I'm stupid. I didn't think of anything. I didn't think of the consequences or anyone." He and Lee didn't realize until a week later that the bullet went through Cloonan's trunk and fatally struck Leos. Lee, who is charged with being an accessory after the fact and having a concealed firearm in the vehicle, is being tried separately. Eriz apologized to Leos' family at his sentencing hearing, speaking for the first time during his trial proceedings. As for the gesture Cloonan made prior to the shooting, prosecutors said during the trial that it was one she immediately came to "regret beyond comprehension." (More road rage stories.)

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