LOWELL -- A Lowell man who shot three people in a drug deal gone bad and became a focus of controversy between the Lowell police and UTEC received a seven-to-10-year state prison sentence.
In Lowell Superior Court last week, Leroy Mey, 21, of Lowell, pleaded guilty to: armed assault to murder (three counts), assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (three counts), possession of a firearm without a license, possession of a loaded firearm without a license, and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building.
In addition to his state prison sentence, after he is released, Mey will be on probation for five years, during which time he can not have contact with the witnesses or victims, not use drugs and to submit random screens.
Prosecutor Gina Kwon sought 12 to 15 years in state prison, while the defense sought five years in prison.
In the Dec. 17 shooting on Chelmsford Street, one man was shot in the back of the head, another in the back and shoulder, and the third in the hand.
Two of the three men were taken to Boston-area hospitals, while the third victim provided police with a statement that indicated he and his friends drove from Boston to Lowell to buy $550 worth of marijuana from Mey.
The 3 p.m. shooting occurred 60 feet from the Lincoln School, where students were put in a "hard" lockdown and not allowed to leave the building.
Mey turned himself in to police Dec.
During a dangerousness hearing in Lowell District Court in January, Lowell police Officer Stephen Beland testified police also have security video from the BP gas station, where the incident began, showing Mey , wearing a black puffy coat and one of the victims entering the BP convenience store and then walk out to the victim's silver car.
As Mey stands near the car's passenger door, the victim gets back into the car and it pulls away. Security video for the store shows Mey fumbling inside his pocket, then a gun is shown in his hand and the gun if fired. Beland testified it was possible to see the recoil of the gun.
Police found up to 10 shell casings from a 9 mm handgun, Lowell Police Detective Corey Erickson testified at the hearing. There were seven bullet holes in the sides and back of the silver car, and the rear window was shattered. As Mey chased the car, he continued to fire, Erickson testified.
The silver car crashed into a snow bank and two victims fled the car, with Mey allegedly in hot pursuit. Mey allegedly chased one of the victims into the parking lot of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, where Mey came face to face with a retired Connecticut state trooper.
The repercussions from Mey's case linger.
In May, Lowell Police Superintendent William Taylor pulled $124,000 of police funding from United Teen Equality Center (UTEC), after he accused the anti-violence group's advocacy for Mey and Sungba Dy, 23, of Lowell, both were accused of high-profile gun-related crimes.
UTEC staff attended dangerousness hearings for both men. UTEC street workers wrote a letter to the judge concerning Dy, which Taylor took as being supportive toward the defendant.
During an earlier interview, Taylor said if UTEC can rebuild its relationship with the police and the city, he will revisit the funding issue by the end of the year.
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