Valley News -

Man who shot Lake Elsinore woman sentenced


Last updated 1/2/2019 at 6:32pm

MURRIETA - A man who shot a Lake Elsinore woman as she drove home, riddling her vehicle with bullets, was sentenced on Wednesday, Jan. 2 to seven years in state prison.

Elijah Lamaj Crayton, 21, of Lake Elsinore pleaded guilty in October to assault with a firearm resulting in great bodily injury. In exchange for Crayton's admission, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office dropped a charge of attempted murder.

Superior Court Judge John Monterosso certified the terms of the plea deal and imposed the sentence stipulated by the prosecution and defense.

Crayton's co-defendant, 28-year-old Carnell Johnson Jr., pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced in November to four years felony probation.

Sheriff's detectives did not disclose why Crayton opened fire on the victim, identified in court documents only as `"Brenda,'' as she drove through the intersection of Grand Avenue and Marie Drive on the night of Oct. 23, 2017.

According to Sgt. Brett Seckinger, she was headed home via Grand when Crayton targeted her. Seckinger said a deputy heard multiple shots at the location and spotted a vehicle driving away with its lights turned off, prompting the lawman to give chase.

The car was found moments later, parked outside a residence in the 33000 block of Leeward Way, with bullet holes clearly visible in the exterior panels, he said.

As the deputy was calling for assistance, the victim walked out of her residence, bleeding. The patrolman summoned an ambulance, and the victim was taken to Inland Valley Medical Center in Wildomar, where she was treated for non-life-threatening wounds, Seckinger said. She has since fully recovered.

According to Seckinger, the ensuing investigation led to Crayton and Johnson, both of whom were arrested in the area without a struggle.

Crayton had no documented prior felony convictions. According to court records, Johnson had priors for felony evading, driving under the influence and possession of drugs for sale.


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