Piano Lesson Victim Shakes Shooter's Hand

Emotions ran high in an Oakland courtroom Tuesday as Jared Adams was sentenced.

Adams' crime spree included firing shots in a robbery that struck and paralyzed a young boy taking a piano lesson.  He also carjacked then State Senator Don Perata.

Adams was sentenced to 70 years to life in Prison.

Young Christopher Rodriguez  spoke at the sentencing from his wheelchair.  A bullet from Adams' gun went through a wall and pierced the child's body while he was taking a lesson at the Harmony Road Music School.

Rodriguez went up to the man who changed his life forever and shook his hand, saying he had forgiven him.

Adams did not say a word.

 "I know it wasn't your intention to shoot me, but  remember - actions always have consequences, " Rodriguez said.

 "I'm sorry about your financial problems if that's the reason why  you were robbing, and I also want to say I forgive you," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez told Adams that "you put many people in danger" and two  of the bullets almost hit his mother, who was waiting in her car outside the  music school.

Rodriguez, who is 12 now, attended the hearing with his parents,  Richard and Jennifer Rodriguez.

In all Adams was found guilty of 12 felony counts, including attempted murder, assault with a firearm, robbery, carjacking, auto theft, evading a  police officer and being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm back in March.

The attempted murder charge is for firing three shots at Tejpal Singh, an attendant at the Chevron gas station at 4400 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland, which Adams is accused of robbing on Jan. 10, 2008.
One of those shots is the one that hit Rodriguez.

Adams also carjacked Perata's red Dodge Charger at the intersection of 51st Street and Shattuck Avenue in Oakland on Dec. 29,  2007.

Adams' ex-girlfriend, 20-year-old Maeve Clifford, was charged with 10 felony counts in connection with the alleged crime spree, but on Jan. 12  prosecutors allowed her to plead guilty to two felony counts in exchange for  her testimony against Adams.

The plea agreement calls for Clifford  to be sentenced to six years in state prison.

A third defendant, 24-year-old Ryan McGough, also pleaded guilty  to various felony charges but did not testify against Adams. His plea bargain  calls for him to be sentenced to between 15 and 20 years in state prison.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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