Gascón ordered the suspected killer’s case go to juvenile court, even though he was just one month shy of his 18th birthday at the time of the murders.
Donato Cruikshank is behind bars for shooting two sisters, 16-year-old Sierra Brown and 27-year-old Uniek Atkins, to death before burning down their Los Angeles apartment in 2018. Cruikshank was Sierra’s ex-boyfriend, according to investigators.
Their mother Felicia Andrew is demanding justice for her daughters.
“This is so devastating for us. We just feel, you know, victimized again,” Andrew told “Fox & Friends First” on Friday.
Cruikshank fled the scene in her daughter’s car and took all their technology devices, including cell phones and Apple watches, to ensure he could not be traced back to the crime scene, Andrew said.
“[Cruikshank] came back to the scene with us and acted like he didn’t know what had happened. He even interviewed with the police officers and kept his calm,” Andrew said.
Andrew said she had three grandkids left without mothers after her daughters’ deaths.
She added she had a meeting with Gascón in 2020, where he told her he’d “look over the case and not use his blanket policy.”
“He was very cold-hearted, he didn’t seem like, you know, he cared … at the end of the call he said, ‘I’ve been a police officer, LAPD for so many years and I’ve seen a lot of murders,” Andrew said.
Kathy Cady, a former Los Angeles County DA prosecutor, has been representing the victim’s families and argued the California law allows for a district attorney’s office to use its discretion to ask the court to treat a juvenile as an adult.
“Because this particular person was only one month shy at his birthday, the district attorney’s office, soon after the crime occurred, had filed the motion to ask that the defendant be heard in adult court,” Cady said.
Cady mentioned the motion has been pending for the last two years and Gascón’s youth justice policies forced prosecutors to withdraw the motion.
“We were hopeful that the judge might make an exception and allow or make a hearing where he would be able to decide whether or not the defendant should go up to adult court or stay in juvenile court,” Cady said. “Unfortunately, the judge did not believe that he had the power to do that and that it was completely up to the district attorney’s discretion.”