Teen who killed phone repairman, a single parent, gets a life sentence

A 17-year-old convicted of robbing and killing a phone technician will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

In handing down the sentence, District Judge Valorie Vega said Deangelo Malone didn’t think about the consequences of his actions when he shot and killed 42-year-old Jerry Steiner on Dec. 27, 2005.

Steiner, a single father of two, was servicing a pay telephone in a gang-infested neighborhood in North Las Vegas at the time of the shooting.

Malone was 15 years old at the time.

Betty Caplinger, Steiner’s mother, said she was satisfied with the sentence, life without the possibility of parole.

“Malone has shattered a way of life,” she said.

She said Steiner’s children had to move away from the neighborhood they knew after their father was killed. His 16-year-old daughter now lives with relatives, and his 13-year-old son lives with his mother in Utah.

Michael Sanft, Malone’s attorney, said Malone grew up in poverty and was raised by his older brother.

“He grew up without the type of chances we hope children would have,” he said.

Because of his age, Malone didn’t comprehend the repercussions of gunning down a man in broad daylight, Sanft said.

A jury convicted Malone of first-degree murder in December.

Malone shot Steiner in an alley behind an apartment complex off Carey Avenue between Simmons Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Malone, who was with a group of teens, saw Steiner working on the pay phone and decided to rob him.

Authorities said Malone shot Steiner when he tried to fight off the attackers.

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