A judge Thursday sentenced a 17-year-old Kenya native to more than 23 years in prison for his manslaughter and robbery convictions.
Muridi Mohamed, of Hampshire Avenue, was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for fatally stabbing a 16-year-old East Side resident during a fight Aug. 11, 2011, on the West Side.
In a nonjury trial this August, Erie County Judge Thomas P. Franczyk found Mohamed did not face deadly physical danger, nor had he tried to retreat from the fight, before stabbing Dai’John Johnson, of Johnson Street.
Police at the time said the brawl in the culturally diverse West Side neighborhood involved as many as 20 people.
As a young African immigrant, it may have been hard for Mohamed to find his niche in the community, the judge said.
“You certainly took the wrong turn when you got here,” Franczyk said.
The judge sentenced Mohamed to 19 years for manslaughter and 4½ years for a robbery conviction. He said the terms would run consecutively.
Mohamed, through an interpreter, apologized “for everything he did.”
He stood trial on a second-degree murder charge, but the judge found him guilty of the lower charge in part because some prosecution witnesses provided information in their trial testimony that they did not share with police who investigated the stabbing.
“I do not believe Mr. Mohamed intended to kill anyone but over-reacted to the situation,” said defense attorney Andrew C. LoTempio.
“He was embroiled in a hostile environment where two groups of teenagers were fighting all summer,” LoTempio said. “The man who was stabbed ended up in the middle of it.”
Johnson’s family submitted victim impact letters to the judge but did not address the court during the hearing.
Prosecutor Gary W. Hackbush and Assistant District Attorney Michael P. Felicetta, prosecuted the case.