CRIME

Devon Matos sentenced to 25 years behind bars

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A teenager convicted of shooting the toddler in the face in Glenarden was sentenced Friday to 25 years behind bars.

Devon Matos, 18, of Fort Washington, was earlier found guilty for his role in the Aug. 22, 2011 shooting that left 23-month-old Deondre Johnson wounded with a gunshot wound to the face.

Speaking before the court, Matos apologized to the toddler and his family.

Matos' attorney called his clients actions clearly unintentional. The state however argued the young man never should have had a gun.

“This is not going to be tolerated in Prince George's County that a 2-year-old can't sit on his front porch without being assaulted,” says State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks.

Matos was convicted in early April of two counts each of assault and handgun charges, in addition to one count of reckless endangerment.

Last August, Matos opened fire in this Glenarden apartment complex when one of his shots struck then 23-month-old Deondre Johnson in the face. Friday morning, Deondre’s family called the sentence fair.

“It gives him time to think about what he's really done, because I don't think he reflected on it,” says the toddler’s grandmother. 

The sentence of 25 years is the maximum that Matos could have received.

Deandre was in his mothers arms outside an apartment complex in Glenarden when he hit by a stray bullet. The shots were fired between Matos and another person during a nearby gunfight.

For the past year, the vibrant 2-year-old, who still can't talk, has had several surgeries, a tracheotomy tube put in his throat, and rehabilitation to try to recover. He now has to wear this backpack wherever he goes.

While his family says they'll never be the same, they're feel relief that this is now over.

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