LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com)   —  Authorities said three men have been sentenced for the Christmas day 2010 murder of a 25-year-old woman in front of her 3-year-old daughter.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Darnell Houston, 38, and Lamar McKnight, 28, both were sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole, while Derrick Williams, 20, was given 40 years-to-life.

In August, jurors found all three men guilty of first-degree murder and attempted murder.

Kashmier Shari James was gunned down on Christmas night. (credit: CBS)

Kashmier Shari James was gunned down on Christmas night. (credit: CBS)

Jurors also found true gang and gun allegations and a special circumstance allegation that Houston and McKnight killed while they were active members of a criminal street gang.

A fourth defendant, 20-year-old Ezekiel Simon, pleaded no contest to attempted murder and was sentenced in August to 29 years behind bars.

Deputy DA Antonella Nistorescu of the Hardcore Gang Division prosecuted the case.

Kashmier James was shot and killed on Dec. 25, 2010, in the 1700 block of W. 85th Street in South Los Angeles. James’ daughter was sitting in the front seat of the family car when she witnessed her mother’s murder.

Simon and Williams were teens when the crime occurred but they were charged as adults.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

During sentencing, James’ now 8-year-old daughter, Neveah Jackson asked the men, “Why have you not said you were sorry for taking my mommy away from me? My mommy was the love of my life. I remember that night and it scares me. You’re supposed to love people — not hurt and kill them. What you did was mean. You are mean and evil people.”


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