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Gang allegedly involved in K Street shootout tied to high-profile, deadly shootings of teen, child

Court proceedings link a gang with the killings of Jaylen Betschart, 17 and Makaylah Brent, 9. Both were shot and killed Oct. 3, 2020

One of the gangs allegedly involved in the K Street shootout is tied to the killings of a teenager and a child that stunned Sacramento in 2020.

Court proceedings link at least three high-profile deadly shootings in Sacramento. 17-year-old Jaylen Betschart and 9-year-old Makaylah Brent were both killed by gunfire the same day during a weekend of bloodshed in the city in October 2020.

It spurred calls to end gun violence and more funding for youth services. Judge Maryanne Gilliard said Curtis Slaton took a different direction.

“Mr. Slaton is the individual who after the senseless murder of a 9-year-old girl, responded online with saying, 'I’m gonna be on a killing spree,' right before this young man’s life was taken,” Gilliard said during a sentencing hearing Friday.

Slaton was sentenced to life in prison without parole on Friday for his murder conviction in the shooting death of Betschart, a star athlete at Sacramento High School. Betschart was chased and gunned down in a vehicle by Slaton and his stepson, according to video and social media evidence presented in court. Though initially thought to be a case of road rage, prosecutors argued it was motivated by misplaced revenge.

“Mr. Wasley’s position was that Jaylen was murdered because he was wearing the wrong color shirt. It is not that complicated,” Gilliard said of gained evidence submitted in court. 

Prosecutors pointed to Slaton’s ties to gang members of the Garden Blocc Crips, the South Sacramento gang that police believe was involved in the K Street shootout in April that left six people dead and 12 hurt. Gilliard said gang feuds have plagued Sacramento for decades.

“The feuds get settled because people arm themselves and they go about looking for people to kill. This community needs to wake up and understand what’s going on,” Gilliard said. “It’s not a safe community. It’s been going on for a long period [of] time. It’s been made less safer."

Slaton maintains his innocence. His stepson is also in custody facing charges related to Betschart’s murder.

Slaton’s attorney said he intends to file an appeal on Monday. He believes circumstantial evidence failed to prove his client’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Meanwhile, the suspect in Makayla’s Brent’s death is facing murder charges. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 20.

Find more information on the latest on the K Street shootout.

Watch more on ABC10

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