Letters to the Editor
... input from forum participants


Update on Shaun Donahue Murder Trial - about my brother's killer

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an update to several "Letters to the Editor" here at LACP ... Jan 24, 2003, May 28, 2003 and Jan 14, 2004 ... and is an issue we've tracked almost since LACP was established. They all deal with the senseless murder of Melanie's brother by a gang member, and his identification, capture, trial and eventual conviction. LA Community Policing is happy it was able to provided Melanie and her family suggestions and support.

February 3, 2005

Dear Bill,

Well it has been a long haul and at the end of the road we found justice for our beloved Shaun Joseph Donahue on January 28, 2005. Charles Edward Yates was found guilty of murder, attempted murder, murder with a fire arm and gang affiliation.

His sentence is as follows:

Attempted Murder - 37 to life
2nd Degree Murder - 40 to life
Murder by Fire Arm - 25 to life
Gang Affiliation - 7 years

He'll not be able to seek parole until he is about 90 years old.

Yates was found guilty of being a Venice Shoreline Crip. A special gang unit officer brought in photos during the trial of the defendant with his gang friends flashing hand signs while dressed in their gang attire. It really made an impact on the jury.

Yates wouldn't take the stand and no witnesses came forward to pick out other gang members who were present at the time of the murder unfortunately. I just hope that this shakes up the Oakwood area and hopefully these gangs now will be aware that there are consequences to the crimes they commit.

My family is very pleased with the verdict, although we would have preferred murder in the 1st instead of 2nd Degree Murder.

The trial was long and very emotional something that I don't wish my family to ever encounter again. The District Attorney was amazing and exceedingly professional. We couldn't have wished for someone greater. I could never thank this man enough for the time and hard work devoted to this case for my little brother.

I wanted to give you this update so you can post it and let the community know to have faith in our Judicial System.

Thank you for your support and take care ...

Melanie Donahue