PATERSON, New Jersey - A man who gunned down a 12-year-old girl in New Jersey three years ago was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison in connection with her murder.
Genesis Rincon was killed when a stray bullet struck her in the head as she rode a scooter to a family gathering in Paterson on July 5, 2014.
Jhymiere Moore pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in her death and in another killing, for which he was also sentenced.
Authorities said Moore was aiming at a nearby van when he fired the shot that killed Rincon, cutting a life short in what was another reminder of the harsh reality of street violence.
Moore was also sentenced to 15 years in the death of 15-year-old Ragee Clark, his close friend, who was killed on March 9, 2013. Clark was so badly injured that both of his legs had to be amputated before he eventually died of his wounds.
Family members of both victims spoke before the sentencing.
"I don't hate you, and I hope you do come out, and you live your life happily with your family," Rincon's father said. "And you'll think back on this day, and you'll say, you know what, that was a mistake, and I would never do it again."
Clark's mother also offered emotional words.
"My baby, that was my baby, my oldest son, my first born," she said. "It hurt me. Sometimes I can't sleep at night. There's times I wake up and I think about my baby."
Rincon's father said all he can do at this point in his life is to forgive and move on, to help him to be able to raise his other children. Clark's father said he since suffered a stroke and now walks with paralysis under the stress of losing his son.
Clark's mother said she hopes this sentencing allows her to release the emotions to which she has been clinging.