BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man who opened fire at a California City apartment and killed a man and 12-year-old girl was sentenced Friday to 80 years to life in prison.
The attorney for Desmond Perry had asked Superior Court Judge John W. Lua to strike the firearms enhancements in the case and leave Perry with a prison term of 30 years to life.
Lua, however, found the enhancements appropriate as both Michael Wiggins Jr., 39, and Trinity Wiggins would still be alive if Perry hadn’t opened fire with his Smith & Wesson M&P15 rifle, similar to an AR-15.
Trinity’s mother, Delana Sutton Wiggins, 38, called Perry a “soldier of Satan” who brought heartache and devastation to their lives. She said he’ll never understand the pain he’s caused.
“There is nothing that will ever ease the pain of Trinity being gone,” she said through tears.
Sheryl Steele, the mother of Michael Wiggins, told the court her son had recently passed his first test to become a real estate agent and was on his way to better things. The 57-year-old said she never imagined her son would die before her.
“I can’t hear his voice,” she said. “I can’t see his face. I can’t pick up the phone and tell him I love him.”
A jury in July convicted Perry, 33, of two counts of second-degree murder and a charge of shooting at an inhabited dwelling.
Perry arrived July 22, 2018, at an apartment in the 9000 block of Lupine Loop Drive following an argument at the residence in which a woman contacted him and asked him to pick her up, according to court documents.
He fired five rounds from the rifle after Michael Wiggins confronted him at the front door. One round struck Michael Wiggins in the chest and the others penetrated the apartment’s front wall.
Trinity was struck in the back.
Prosecutor David McKillop said Perry’s public defender, Mark Aguilar, argued at trial the shooting was in self-defense and Trinity was an unintended victim.
But McKillop said the evidence showed Perry took the assault rifle from the trunk of his car before Michael Wiggins grabbed a BB gun. The jury rejected the self-defense argument in finding Perry guilty of murder.