Teen sentenced to 12 years to life in fatal shooting of passenger on MTA bus

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A teenager who opened fire on a Brooklyn bus in 2014, killing a passenger, was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years to life behind bars.

Kahton Anderson, now 16, was convicted of second-degree murder in his second trial of fatally shooting fellow bus passenger Angel Rojas on the B-15 bus in Bedford-Stuyvesant in March of 2014.

Anderson was 14 at the time of the killing.

He was facing up to 15 years to life in prison at the sentencing, less than the 25 to life if he were sentenced under adult guidelines.

Anderson claimed he was in fear for his life when rival gang members were going to fight him on the bus.

He pulled out a .357 Magnum and fired shots at the gang members. Rojas was caught in the crossfire and killed.

An impact statement was read in court from Rojas's widow Maria, who said her life as she knew it ended that day in March 2014 and that since her husband's violent death, the couple's young son has not spoken a word.

"This senseless shooting robbed my son of his father as his role model, teacher and best friend," said the statement, read by a friend.

"My daughter will not have her father to walk her down the aisle when she marries. Every day has been a struggle for us, financially, emotionally and relationally. I can't take away the pain they have experienced in the absence of their father. This experience has left us traumatized to the point where my son will not take public transportation and has become non-verbal."

"I always thought I was going to grow up next to my father, my father taught me many things but he didn't teach me how to live without him," said a heartbreaking letter written by Saury Rojas about his father Angel.

In court Tuesday, friends read letters written by the Rojas family.

His daughter April said, "His death effected me because on Father's Day and on Christmas, it's very quiet and sad because the happiest person in the house isn't there."

Kahton, with his family also listening, expressed remorse for what he did, telling Maria, he never intended to kill anyone.

"I know I made a poor decision by even boarding a bus with a loaded weapon but there's just certain situations that you don't have control of," he said.

Before the judge sentenced him, Anderson's lawyer described his client as a "sweet kid" who because of his age and immaturity, didn't have the will or power to resist what happened.

But the judge didn't buy Kahton's claims of self defense and sentenced him to 12 years to life in prison.

"Those Facebook pages were not the posturing of a frightened child, they were the bragging of a 14-year-old streetwise teenager who was hell bent on revenge at all costs," said Brookllyn Supreme Court Judge Dineen Riviezzo.
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