2 men get life in prison for killing toddler outside Inkster home

DETROIT, Mich. – An ex-convict who authorities say killed a 2-year-old girl in front of her father in a suburban Detroit revenge attack said Tuesday that it wasn't supposed to happen.

At his sentencing, Raymone Jackson offered his "deepest apologies" to the families of Kamiya Gross.

"None of this was supposed to happen," Jackson said.


A Wayne County Circuit Court jury four Jackson guilty of first-degree murder, torture, assault and gun charges earlier this month. Authorities said Jackson shot the toddler in the head on July 1, 2014, as she played outside with her father and friends at an Inkster home. The child's father, Kenneth French, and a 13-year-old girl were also shot, but recovered.

French called Jackson a coward, a punk and a sissy.


--Kenneth French

Judge Ulysses Boykin called the case one of the most "heinous crimes" he had ever seen.

The jury also convicted Raphael Hearn of first-degree murder after prosecutors said the shooting was orchestrated by Hearn, who had a falling out with French after Hearn was shot months earlier at a club where French was working security. French testified that he believed the shooting was in retaliation for the incident at the club, and that Hearn had wanted French to suffer by seeing his daughter shot.

Hearn was also sentenced to life in prison without parole.


--Raphael Hearn


--Kamiya with her mother, Erica