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Judge gives man more than 200-year sentence for Citrus Heights shootings

RV Watson
RV Watson was sentenced to 207 years to life in prison for his role in two Citrus Heights shootings.

Sentinel staff report–
A Sacramento judge sentenced 28-year-old RV Allahali Watson, Jr., to more than two centuries in prison on Friday for his role in a pair of brutal Citrus Heights shootings, one of which involved a teen being found shot to death in a car riddled with bullets in 2015. Watson’s accomplice, 24-year-old Dashawn Tinsley, was sentenced last month to 141 years to life in prison.

According to a news release from the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, Superior Court Judge Curtis Fiorini sentenced Watson to 207 years to life in prison, meaning he would technically be eligible for parole in the year 2225.

As previously reported by The Sentinel, both men were convicted by a jury in June for the first-degree murder of 19-year-old Andrew VanHunnik, who was found shot to death in a car on Dec. 28, 2015, at the Creekside Colony apartments on Kingswood Drive, near Sunrise Boulevard.

The pair were also found guilty of three counts of premeditated attempted murder, and jurors additionally found the two “fired firearms causing great bodily injury or death to three separate victims,” the DA’s office said. Two others were in the car with VanHunnik, one of whom escaped after being shot five times.

From June: Jury finds pair guilty of murdering 19-year-old in Citrus Heights

Tinsley and Watson were also determined to be the shooters in an attempted murder four days prior to VanHunnik’s shooting. In that incident, a 26-year-old man was shot on Christmas Eve as he exited his car outside his mother’s house on Donegal Drive in Citrus Heights. The DA’s office said he was shot three times, leaving him with a broken arm.

The pair were arrested in 2016, following a lengthy investigation where Citrus Heights Police Department detectives were able to locate witnesses and evidence that established Tinsley and Watson as the shooters in both incidents, the news release stated. Police previously said the investigation spanned an eight month period involving several hundred hours of interviews and more than 50 search warrants.

Although not included in Friday’s news release, a third man, 22-year-old Dennis Gibson, was also arrested in connection with the Christmas Eve shooting. According to court records, he was sentenced to eight months in prison on June 1, after pleading no-contest to a felony charge that he played an accessory role after the shooting.

The case was prosecuted by Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Satnam Rattu, with the Gangs and Hate Crimes Unit. DA Spokeswoman Shelly Orio said although the jury heard evidence that the offenses were gang related, no gang allegations were filed in the case.

Also on The Sentinel: Man sentenced to 336 years for horrific Citrus Heights sex crimes, kidnapping

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