Mother Says Fatal Shooting of Her Teen Son ‘Destroyed' Family

The mother of a 17-year-old boy who was fatally shot in West Oakland in 2015 said on Friday that her family was "destroyed" by his death.

But Audrey CandyCorn told Shiheim Johnson, who was convicted of first-degree murder in March for his role in the shooting death of her son Torian Hughes in the 900 block of Mandela Parkway in West Oakland at about 1:40 p.m. on Dec. 20, 2015, "I don't wish anything negative on you."

Johnson, a Vallejo man who was 19 at the time of the fatal shooting and is now 22, was scheduled to be sentenced on Friday but Alameda County Superior Court Judge Rhonda Burgess postponed doing so until Sept. 10 because additional reports and testimony were presented in the case.

Burgess allowed a lengthy video about Hughes and his family to be played in court, allowed his family members to speak and allowed a psychologist hired by the defense to speak about Johnson's troubled childhood and how it has affected the decisions that Johnson has made.

Among those who attended Johnson's hearing on Friday was Oakland City Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney, who helped raise Hughes and considered him to be her grandson.

McElhaney attended most of Johnson's trial but missed its conclusion because she had to go to Los Angeles to deal with another tragedy, which was the fatal shooting of her 21-year-old son Victor McElhaney in Los Angeles on March 10.

Victor McElhaney was a drummer and was a senior at the University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music and was shot in an apparent botched robbery at a convenience store about a mile from the university's campus.

Johnson didn't shoot Hughes and the teen who allegedly did is being prosecuted separately in the juvenile court system.

Although Johnson didn't pull the trigger, jurors convicted him of first-degree murder because they found that he was a major participant in the shooting and acted with reckless indifference to human life.

Prosecutor Tim Wagstaffe told jurors that Johnson and the other teen, who was 15 at the time, had "a harebrained idea to commit an armed robbery" but it went wrong and led to the fatal shooting of Hughes.

Wagstaffe said Hughes wanted to buy a gun from the 15-year-old and Johnson because he had recently been assaulted on BART and felt that he needed to protect himself.

Wagstaffe alleged that Johnson pointed a gun at the head of Hughes' cousin, who was with Hughes, took a cellphone and cash from him and then directed the 15-year-old boy to shoot Hughes.

Johnson faces up to 60 to 80 years in state prison.

CandyCorn told Johnson that she hopes he makes good choices the rest of his life and "breaks barriers like I'm breaking them."

CandyCorn also invited Johnson to become part of a foundation she's created to prevent gun violence.

"I'm dedicated to preventing violence in all of its forms," CandyCorn said.

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