A teenager who admitted to shooting two youths — one just 11 years old — told a judge Monday morning during his sentencing that he knows what he did was wrong and that he knows he can’t change it.
Kirel Prince, just 17 when he was arrested in July 2010, told the judge he wants to learn from it and do better in the future.
“As I come home, I will learn to do better and make better decisions and keep an open mind,” Prince told Judge Michael Coccoma in Schenectady County Court.
Coccoma, though, noted that it will be some time before Prince is released — 18 years — and that he should reform himself while in prison, not just at the end of his sentence.
The judge also said Prince should focus on his victims and the life sentences Prince imposed on them through the emotional and physical trauma that resulted from Prince’s shots.
“You need to keep that in mind as you serve your sentence,” Coccoma told Prince. “Whether or not you come out and decide to live a law-abiding life is up to you.”
Coccoma formally sentenced Prince Monday to a total of 18 years in state prison. He pleaded guilty in March to two counts of first-degree assault.
Prince admitted in March that he fired five times on June 23, 2010, on Schenectady Street.
His shots struck his intended target, 18-year-old Shaune Daniels, in the chest, with a bullet lodging in his lung. Daniels’ younger brother, 11-year-old Nasjarah Pulliam, suffered the worst of it, though.
Pulliam, who had been walking with Daniels, was hit in the head, the bullet lodging in his brain. He has since made a remarkable recovery.
Prince was one of two people charged in the shooting. The second person, Kody Pierce, took his case to trial and was acquitted. Pierce was accused of shooting after Prince.
Prosecutors had less evidence against Pierce than they had against Prince.
Prince’s plea deal did not require him to testify at Pierce’s trial.
In accepting the plea deal in March, Prince told Coccoma why he shot the brothers.
While standing in a group on Schenectady Street that day, Prince spotted Daniels and his brother walking toward them. Prince said he had “problems” with Daniels in the past and as Daniels passed Prince thought he saw a smirk on his face.
Prince responded by pulling out a gun and firing five times.
The first shots were aimed at their backs and Prince continued firing as the younger boy and his brother fled in different directions. Pulliam fell to the ground in Jerry Burrell Park. Daniels fell in front of an Albany Street business.
The case was prosecuted by Peter Willis. Prosecutor John Healy stood in Monday.