A man who killed and decapitated a teenager as he tried to evade the police has been sentenced to 27 years to life in a state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced on Monday (24 April).
Last month Paul Randolf Brumfield Jr was found guilty of one count each of second-degree murder, driving or taking a vehicle without consent, gross vehicular manslaughter with an allegation of leaving the scene, and hit-and-run driving resulting in death.
In November 2015, Jack Phoenix, 15, was killed as he crossed the street at Venice Boulevard and Hughes Avenue in Palms, Los Angeles.
At the time, Brumfield was driving a stolen Buick LeSabre as he tried to flee a police officer. He accelerated to speeds of approximately 90mph when he struck Phoenix with such force that the teen was decapitated.
The defendant fled from the scene without braking, according to the prosecutor. He was arrested the following day on suspicion of an unrelated car burglary.
Authorities located the stolen vehicle in the days after the arrest "with the victim's head inside, covered by a comforter, according to witness testimony," the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said.
"Witness statements, DNA evidence and cell phone records all helped prove that he was responsible for the fatal crash," it added.
Phoenix was an aspiring artist with more than 100 pieces of artwork to his name. He was also known as Sake, the pen name on his art.
Following the verdict, the victim's father, Nick Phoenix said: "I feel like justice was done. They did a good job with the courts and the prosecutor and the investigators and the judge and everyone ... We're pleased with the outcome, I guess."
In the days after Jack's death, his friends paid tribute to a "sweet kid". One friend, Kevin Moon, remembered him as a kind person who helped him adjust to life in the US after moving to the country with limited English.
"When I was struggling with my language barrier, he came up to me and helped me out and he was artistic and a smart boy," said Moon.