A 24-year-old Palmdale man was sentenced to 70 years to life in prison on Monday by a San Fernando judge for robbing a bank in Santa Clarita over a year ago.
Judge Hayden R. Zacky struck down a Romero Motion and sentenced Demarie Rashad Mackey to a state prison for robbing a Bank of America on the 24000 block of Valley Street in Newhall on March 25, 2013.
The 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.”
According to case documents, 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.
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 brother’s 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 defendent’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,” said Judge Zacky.
The defendant has been connected to two robberies in Ventura County and is currently awaiting sentencing.
The defendant is married and a father to a 4-year-old boy and stepfather to an 8-year-old boy.
“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.”