A D.C. man has been sentenced to 70 years in prison for killing and carjacking a Marine veteran at a Maryland gas station.
Demarko Wheeler, 23, was sentenced Tuesday for first-degree murder in the 2016 shooting death of 68-year-old Alonzo Jackson, the Washington Post reports.
Jackson's relatives said he dropped off his wife at work on the morning of July 20, 2016, and then stopped for gas at a BP station in Capitol Heights so he could drive his best friend to a doctor's appointment.
Prosecutors say a masked Wheeler, then 20, approached Jackson at the gas station, shot him and stole his 2015 Dodge Charger, which was later found abandoned and burned.
In the wake of Jackson's death, Mary Shields, his friend and neighbor in southeast D.C., said the car meant the world to him.
"That was a prize," she said. "That was like a gift to him for himself, because he thought back in the day he could not afford that car because he was not a college grad."
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At the time, Wheeler was on pretrial release in another armed carjacking that happened in the District a week prior. That case is still pending.
Jackson lived his entire life in D.C. and retired after working at Safeway for 30 years. He left behind his wife, three grown sons and grandchildren.