COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) A Copperas Cove 18-year-old learned Wednesday she'll spend two years in state prison after she admitted she’d helped plan murder her brother carried out.
Judge Grant Kinsey in 440th District Court ordered Makenah Taliana Faaola-Sommervold to serve a two-year sentence after she pleaded guilty to one count of deadly conduct with a weapon, a lesser-included level of the original murder charge she faced, Dustin Boyd, Coryell County District Attorney, said.
Larry Anthony Quinn Thomas, 17, died Nov. 10, 2017 following a shooting in the 300 block of Bonnie Lane the day before.
Andrew Sommervold, 24, Jamiroquai Michael Onyemaechi Kiaunte Ejiawoko, 18, Joshua David Vega, 24 and Faaola-Sommervold, all of Copperas Cove, were charged in connection with his murder.
Sommervold, Ejiawoko and Vega all already are serving prison sentences for their roles in the murder.
Boyd said Wednesday his office decided to accept the lesser-included charge because Faaola-Sommervold hadn’t actually participated in the shooting that took Thomas’ life.
“She wasn’t even there, she hadn’t been in the car when they the shooting happened," he said.
“She only participated in the planning and that by itself presented some dynamic mitigation issues.”
Boyd said initially Faaola-Sommervold was certified as adult and would not face juvenile justice “and now at 18 the first thing she does in walk into a prison. I hope it sends a message,” Boyd said.
Copperas Cove police were sent on Nov. 9, 2017 to Bonnie Lane, on the city's northwest side, after receiving a call about a disturbance and when they arrived at 10:35 p.m., they found Thomas lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head.
The police report shows initial investigation showed evidence of an altercation that likely happened earlier in the evening between the victim and the group of suspects.
Thomas was taken to Fort Hood's Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center where he died a short time later.
"The information that we have tends to allow us to believe and to know that the shooting was the result of an earlier drug transaction that went bad. Drug transactions are inherently dangerous of themselves however to lose the life of a 17-year-old man as a consequence is absolutely tragic and sad,” Boyd said.
"These cases have got to stop, and senseless killings over simple drug transactions can be avoided. These are very young people involved in all of this, but we hope to put the suspects away for many years."
Ejiawoko and Vega, were arrested a week after the deadly shooting but Sommervold and his sister weren’t apprehended until March 2018 in Oakland, Calif.