Lorenzo Parks didn’t have anything worth robbing when 17-year-old Dakota Mikalle Collins and six other young men demanded everything in his pockets.
Parks even turned his pockets inside out to prove it.
Collins shot him anyway, and Thursday was sentenced for the 38-year-old’s death.
“Life is all about choices,” Parks’ sister, Adra Parks said in court. “You had a choice to walk away, knowing that my brother had nothing to give you.”
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Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend gave Collins a mid-range sentence of 21 years, eight months behind bars for the shooting May 18, 2016, in Parkland.
“You can become a contributing member of society,” she told the teenager, and he nodded.
When it was Collins turn to speak, he said he’s remorseful, and prays for the family.
“I will commit to changing my life,” he told them.
As part of negotiations with prosecutors, Collins pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder, attempted first-degree robbery and unlawful gun possession.
Sheriff’s deputies found Parks’ body near South 127th Street and Pacific Avenue.
According to court records:
Collins and the other young men had been drinking at an apartment, then shoplifted food from a couple stores and eventually decided to rob someone.
They came across Parks, and told him to hand over everything in his pockets. Then he turned his pockets inside out to show them he didn’t have any money.
Deputy Prosecutor John Neeb said at sentencing that Collins pointed the gun at Parks when the man didn’t immediately cooperate. When Parks said he thought the gun was fake, Collins showed him it wasn’t, by displaying the magazine.
After Parks then left and crossed Pacific Avenue, Collins shot him at the prompting of another in the group, Neeb said.
Defense attorney Sunni Ko told the court Collins’ childhood was difficult. His was affected by drugs his mother used when she was pregnant with him, and he suffered abuse at an out-of-state military school, the attorney said.
Parks’ family pointed out that one of his children had a difficult childhood, but is now studying at a four-year university.
He’s survived by four children: two 18-year-olds, a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old.
Loved ones called him “Renzie,” and remembered him as a great cook, with a specialty for lasagna.
“He could make a meal out of dust and toilet paper,” Adra Parks said outside court.
Wilbert Parks, his father, remembered how his son routinely was the one to volunteer to say grace at family meals. He had hoped to be a drug dependency counselor, with a focus on troubled kids, the family said.
Khiry Terrell Baylis, 18, was sentenced last month to four years, three months for Parks’ death. The teen pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree robbery and first-degree rendering criminal assistance.
Five others will be sentenced later this month — 21-year-olds Lonnie Lawerence Brantley Jr. and Jamar Latez Jones, 18-year-olds Dasjon Michael Robinson and Rasjon Andre Robinson and 17-year-old James Purnell Mapp III.