DAVENPORT- A Davenport teen has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for the shooting death of a 15-year- old girl caught in the crossfire of rival gangs.
"I realize I have to live with the demons of being involved in a young girl's death for the rest of my life, and for that I am sorry. I can only pray her family and God forgive me for the role I played in her death," said Trevor Owens, before being sentenced to the 20 year term.
Owens, now 19, accepted a plea deal in the June 2016 shooting death of Ayana Culbreath.
She was shot in the chest and killed when Owens and another teen started shooting at each other during a backyard party at a home off Warren Street in Davenport.
"I would like to say I did not have any intention of shooting that night and I most certainly did not kill Ayana Culbreath," Owens said.
He was initially charged with first degree murder, but prosecutors were unable to determine who actually fired the fatal shot and offered plea deals to both Owens and a then 14-year- old, Kamario Hill.
The victim's sister, Sharday Burkhart, spoke at Thursday's sentencing, and urged the judge to give Owens the max to send a message.
"It was senseless and those responsible have to be held accountable. This devastating event has become the norm among teens in the Quad Cities. This is not a video game, this is real life. I pray that my sister's death was not in vain," she said.
"When I think of the way she died, so young at 15, it makes me physically ill. I still have nightmares of her laying there, dying," Burkhart said.
Owens had an extensive and violent criminal record starting at the age of 13.