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Gang member ordered to stand trial in death of 6-year-old girl

(Left) Tiana Ricks, 6, is shown in an undated file photo. (Right) Keandre Johnson, 21, appears in court in this undated photo.

December 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
An admitted gang member has been ordered to stand trial for the murder of a 6-year-old girl in Moreno Valley.

Keandre Johnson, 21, is accused of shooting and killing Tiana Ricks Sept. 7 as she stood outside a family gathering. Her father was also shot but he survived.

Court documents show Johnson has a lengthy criminal record. At the time of the shooting, he was on parole for a burglary conviction. Police said Johnson discussed the shooting in a recorded phone conversation with a gang member who was in custody.

Friday, a Riverside County Superior Court judge ordered Johnson to face trial for the girl's murder.

Johnson is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, gang activity and a special circumstance allegation of killing for the benefit of a street gang, as well as sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.

If convicted, Johnson could face either the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole. The District Attorney's Office has not yet announced whether it will seek capital punishment.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.


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