Defendant sentenced to prison for shooting, killing man in Youngstown

Deondre Gayles was sentenced to 17 years in prison on Wednesday

DeOndre Gayles is charged with murder in Youngstown, Ohio.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Deondre Gayles was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the shooting death of 20-year-old Ralph Thomas.

Prosecutors say Deondre Gayles shot Thomas near the Brier Hill Annex apartments in July. Thomas was then taken to the hospital, where he died of his injuries.

Prosecutors called the shooting a result of a “clandestine transaction.”

Last month, Gayles pleaded guilty to one count of voluntary manslaughter with a firearm specification, two counts of felonious assault, one count tampering with evidence and one count having weapons under disability.

He faced a maximum sentence of 27 years in prison. The state asked for 20 years, while the defense requested six.

Before sentencing, Thomas’s mother spoke before Judge Anthony D’Apolito.

“My son didn’t get to have kids, so I don’t have anything to hold on from him — just my memories. My heart is going to hurt for the rest of my life,” said Tauni Christian.

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