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2001 - Then-Assemblyman George Runner introduces legislation to memorialize the historic Ridge Route. Enacted Oct. 4. [story]


DEMARIE-MACKEY_t607By Haile Cook – Cougar News

A 24-­year-­old Palmdale man was sentenced to 70 years to life in prison this week by a San Fernando judge for robbing a Newhall bank more than a year ago.

Judge Hayden R. Zacky struck down a Romero Motion and sentenced Demarie Rashad Mackey to state prison for robbing a Bank of America on the 24000 block of Valley Street in Newhall on March 25, 2013. Due to California sentencing laws, Mackey must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence in state prison before he’s eligible for parole.

DEMARIE-MACKEY_t607The hearing began with defense attorney Justine Esack bringing Mackey’s transgendered brother, Donte Mackey, 23, to the witness stand.

“We were never given a chance, you know,” said Mackey. “Our family didn’t even give us a chance. And he deserves a second chance. Because I need him just like I needed him back when we were kids.”

Demarie Mackey’s trial began at 9 a.m. Oct. 15, and the jury had reached a guilty verdict by 1:30 p.m. the following day.

Mackey was pulled over 15 minutes after the robbery at Valley Street and Lyons Avenue in March 2013, and he was found with the cash and his disguise, according to Deputy District Attorney Emily Cole.

“Detective Michael Staley led the investigation, and he did a fantastic job,” Cole said, shortly after the trial.

The defense introduced evidence of Mackey’s turbulent childhood during the sentencing hearing Monday.

Demarie and Donte Mackey were taken by the state from their mother and were put under the care of their grandmother at an early age, according to case documents.

The two boys were subjected to physical and sexual abuse according to testimony given by Mackey, by their grandmother and their two uncles, Darren Mackey and Marcus Harris.

“My uncle has told me, while raping me, that he abused my brother a couple of times in the garage,” said Donte Mackey.

Mackey testified that their upbringing resulted in his brothers actions stating, “had we been raised right and been done the right way and not abused as much, he would have never felt that he had to go do that ever.”

Demarie Mackey has been in and out of jail with a history of priors, beginning in his teens with an attempted murder conviction.

Esack tried to downgrade the defendant’s sentence by motioning for a Romero Motion, which is a motion that allows a judge to take out past ‘strikes’ and sentence the defendant to less time in prison, but it was denied due to the fact that his priors could only be treated as a strike convictions.

“The best indicator of his actions presently, and in the future, is what he has done in the past and we simply cannot change that,” Zacky said.

The defendant was convicted for two robberies in Ventura County and is awaiting sentencing in those cases.

“I wish that we weren’t here today. I wish Mr. Mackey would have never committed these bank robberies,” said Judge Zacky. “But he did, and he was convicted of three separate counts of bank robbery.”

Perry Smith contributed to this report.

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44 Comments

  1. And killers only get 30 years that’s dumb!!

  2. Jeff Selph Jeff Selph says:

    Dang that’s a long time.. Murderers get off with a lighter sentence…

  3. It’s sad that rapists, and murderers do less time.

  4. Kelly Parco Kelly Parco says:

    What’s wrong with this.. Michael Stephens who brutally murdered my friend Josh Pipho out here and he only got 23 years to life. And his stupid parents and punks got away with what they did. Our justice system is a joke.

  5. Probably not his first time probably third striker

  6. He wants to play he’s going to pay

  7. Dobie Gillis Dobie Gillis says:

    “Demarie Mackey has been in and out of jail with a history of priors, beginning in his teens with an attempted murder conviction.”

    Dude is a eff-up. I get where it makes no sense that it’s more time than a murderer or rapist but only if there’s not a history of violence.

    This guy has it 10 fold.

  8. Kim Sloan Kim Sloan says:

    Let this be an example to any thug who wants to rob a bank in SCV! 70 years…bye bye! Now if we could make examples out of murderers & drunk drivers too!

  9. 70 years?! Sad… Robbery is punishable … But child molestors get off with a slap on the wrist!! Absurd

  10. Tami Marie Tami Marie says:

    It’s a federal crime and they have much stiffer sentences.

  11. Ramona says:

    It very much pains me to bring this up, but it occurs to me that the defendants race might have played a part in this incredibly harsh punishment.

  12. 70 years is disgusting to me.

  13. Joey Caban Joey Caban says:

    He get 70 years for bank robbery yet child molesters are set free multiple time? Something wrong here

  14. Carlos Wentt Carlos Wentt says:

    @tamimarie is correct

  15. Carlos Wentt Carlos Wentt says:

    @tamimarie is correct

  16. Ridiculous. Our system is wrong.

  17. Ridiculous. Our system is wrong.

  18. Lorena Garay Lorena Garay says:

    And then they say the Palmdale folks don’t come to the Santa Clarita Valley to do their dirty jobs!

  19. Rhonda Soria Rhonda Soria says:

    Wow he was convicted of robbery not murder that’s terrible!

  20. Joe Pool Joe Pool says:

    Is it me or does he look a lot like Ocho Cinco ?? Just see a resemblance

  21. Javier Garay Javier Garay says:

    One thing I hate is when people complaint because someone got to light of a sentence after committing a crime, now people are complaining because someone got to harsh of a punishment. What is it people. If justice is served harsh like in this case we would not have so much crime like we do now. Be happy :). We need the justice system to tighten up and not be nice anymore.

  22. I can’t believe this – 70 years? This is horribly wrong.

  23. Does anyone else find it disturbing that there are actually people here that support this person getting 70 years for robbery?

    Three strikes is also nonsense, it is simply attaching an arbitrary punishment after a punishment that already exists.

  24. Ryan Orona Ryan Orona says:

    Too bad he wasn’t shot. It would cost less to take out the trash.

  25. Cheri says:

    I Agree that is Way to much time, he didn’t hurt anyone, murders and child molesters get off better that that.

  26. Linda Rivera Linda Rivera says:

    That’s 70 year of tax payers $$$$ that we now have to pay for this low life. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad he is the doing time .but dame

  27. Stupid kid – He should have become a Banker… he could have robbed MILLIONS of people and Never go to jail.

  28. Blake Frye Blake Frye says:

    big shots who commit fraud and steal millions of dollars get months in prison.. if even any jail time is involved. 70 years for robbing a bank in which there were no fatalities? pathetic, must of been some old white judge still hung up on prior bias about african americans.

  29. Seems excessive for bank robbery with no casualties, especially since sex offenders & murders do less time. I’m not saying he shouldn’t do time but 70 years? Wow!

  30. MJ says:

    And now he goes to Ventura county to be tried on his 2 other bank robberies.

  31. Read the article. He wasn’t just sentenced based on this one event. He is a hardcore criminal with a seriously long rap sheet. He is additionally awaiting sentencing on two additional bank robberies in Ventura County. I’m sure those sentences will be concurrent with the 70 years he received from this conviction. I will agree that we are too lenient on child molesters and murderers, but I disagree that this criminal’s sentencing was too harsh.

  32. Catherine Seide look at the judge who sentenced him

  33. Robbing a bank or several sites not justify this sentence. The justice system NOT as of today is insane. Against everything in the constitution..

  34. PURE INJUSTICE!!! SICKING

  35. Our justice system is broke. He deserved a better defense. So SAD

  36. If you really want to rob a bank, get on its board of directors.

  37. lm says:

    Smh he did not deserve 70 to life. Our justice system is broke. Totally agree with that….Attempted murder by demarie cousin with the same name..was done in the 90s..this demarie mackey was born in 1990…

Leave a Comment


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