Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that Donald Young (DOB: 11/17/88), formerly of 55 Commerford Street, Providence, was sentenced to consecutive life sentences plus 40 years for the 2009 murder of Kasean Benton and assault of Torell Soko. In April, a jury found Young found guilty of 1st degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death, assault with a dangerous weapon, and possession of a firearm without a license.
Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause sentenced Young to life sentences for the death of Kasean Benton and the use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death, with the sentences to run consecutive. Young was also sentenced to 20 years to serve for assault with a dangerous weapon and 20 years to serve without parole on the charge of discharge of a firearm during a commission of a crime of violence, to run consecutive, for the assault on Torrell Soko. He was also sentenced to 10 years to serve on the conspiracy to commit murder (concurrent with murder charges), 10 years to serve on the conspiracy to commit assault with a dangerous weapon (concurrent to the assault charges), and 10 years to serve on the charge of carrying a firearm without a license, to run concurrent.
“Donald Young sealed his fate the night he set out to kill rival Kasean Benton. At the age of 20 years old, he perpetrated a cold-blooded, premeditated murder reminiscent of the most violent and reprehensible of movies,” said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. “This murder highlights the violence and destruction caused by gangs and gang violence in our communities. It rips families apart and fractures our neighborhoods. Today’s sentence sends the message that the violent misuse of guns and gang warfare will not be tolerated.”
Donald Young, Kasean Benton, and Torell Soko were associated with rival gangs in the City of Providence. Young and others belonged to a group known as “Comstock;” Benton and Soko associated with a group referred to as “YNIC.”
Just before sunset on July 12, 2009, Torell Soko went to meet with friend Kasean Benton, who had pulled up in front of 30 Trask Street, where Soko’s grandfather and aunt lived. As the two friends sat and talked in Benton’s car, Soko noticed three men, including old riva,l Donald Young, walking in the middle of the road toward the car. Soko saw a gun in Young’s hand. As the three men walked toward the car, Young lifted his arm and fired directly at the automobile, hitting the windshield.
Soko and Benton fled the car. Soko was grazed by a bullet in his side while running down Trask Street in a hail of bullets. Benton was found dead behind a stockade fence in the rear yard of 30 Trask Street. Autopsy revealed that Benton died from a single gunshot wound to the back. The evidence revealed that the projectile recovered from Benton’s chest was fired from the same gun that fired the bullet found in the windshield of Benton’s car which prosecutors argued was fired from the gun of Donald Young.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Randy White and Special Assistant Attorney General Jim Baum. Detective Emilio Matos of the Providence Police Department led the investigation.