Boy killed in road rage shooting on way to kindergarten, officials say. Man sentenced

Nearly three years after a 6-year-old boy was killed in a road rage shooting as his mother drove him to kindergarten, a man has been sentenced to prison, California prosecutors say.

Marcus Anthony Eriz, 27, was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison on Friday, April 12, a spokesperson for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office told McClatchy News in an email.

“I am so sorry for ever hurting him, and the pain he went through because of me,” Eriz said at his sentencing hearing, ABC 7 News reported.

A jury convicted Eriz of second-degree murder in January in relation to Aiden Leos’ death, according to a news release from the district attorney’s office. He had pleaded guilty in June 2021 shortly after his arrest, according to CNN.

The district attorney’s office spokesperson said information for Eriz’s attorney was not immediately available.

“The heartbreak of a parent losing a child is so overwhelming that no word exists to describe it,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the release. “Six-year-old boys should be playing outside in the sunshine, soaking in all the magic and wonder that is boyhood, not lying dead in a tiny, child-size coffin because a man he never met decided to execute him for no conceivable reason.”

As Aiden’s mother drove down the 55 Freeway in Orange County on May 21, 2021, en route to his school, she flipped off a driver who cut her off, prosecutors said.

She then “heard a large noise and heard her son say, ‘ow,’” prosecutors said.

She pulled over, got her son out of his car seat and called 911, prosecutors said.

Please help,” she said repeatedly to the dispatcher, the Los Angeles Times reported. “He’s bleeding to death. ... I’m on the freeway.”

Aiden later died at a hospital, prosecutors said.

“He meant the world to me, and it feels like my life is over,” his mother, Johanna Cloonan, told ABC News shortly after her son’s death. “That was my baby. I’ve never, never thought pain like this could exist.”

John Cloonan, the boy’s uncle, told the outlet that Aiden “was a beautiful, beautiful soul.”

The California Highway Patrol searched across Southern California for the shooter in a 2018/2019 Volkswagen SportWagen, according to the office.

Weeks later, CHP arrested Eriz and the driver, Wynne Lee, on June 6, 2021, prosecutors said

Lee was charged with “one felony count of accessory after the fact and one misdemeanor count of having a concealed firearm in a vehicle,” prosecutors said.

Lee, who is “out of custody on GPS monitoring after posting $100,000 bond in July 2021,” is expected to appear in court again on April 26, the district attorney’s office spokesperson said.

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