LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Trial has begun for a reputed gang member accused of gunning down a 5-year-old boy as he played in his South Los Angeles backyard on Halloween day in 2010.

“A 5-year-old life cut short by gang violence on Halloween in 2010,” is how one prosecutor in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Friday described the murder of Aaron Shannon Jr.

One witness alleges that the accused, 21-year-old Leonard Hall, fired at least seven shots, striking Aaron once in the head.

Marcus Denson, another reputed gang member, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with Aaron’s death.

He is expected to take the stand Monday to testify against Hall in exchange for a lighter sentence.

The jury will be told that Denson, 18, did not fire the weapon that killed Aaron.

KCAL9’s Dave Lopez reports that Denson will tell jurors that on Oct. 31, 2010, he and Hall were instructed by another gang member to go into rival gang territory in search of a rival gang member and to “take care of him.”

The prosecution has told jurors that Aaron’s family had no gang ties.


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