One of the most destructive key players in the Baltimore riots last year, 20-year-old Donta Betts, got the surprise of his life at his sentencing Friday.
Donta Betts will be spending the next 15 years behind bars, and will not be eligible for parole or probation.
Prosecutors say Betts explained his involvement in the April 2015 Baltimore riot by saying, “I did all this because that was my period to go wild on police.” He had no idea what that would actually cost him.
In addition to the 15 years in prison, he must serve five years of supervised release for making a “destructive device” in connection with the riots.
Just days after the death of Freddie Gray, thugs took to the streets of Baltimore, rioting, looting, starting fires and attacking police…. And Donta Betts was right in the middle of it all, proven by surveillance video and photos. One photo that went viral shows him squirting lighter fluid on a pile of propane cylinders.
He was captured on video looting a CVS store, then started a fire in an attempt to stop police from ending the looting. He ran from the scene after the flame exploded, sending flying debris of large metal fragments from propane cylinders.
“Donta Betts was a menace to society here in Baltimore. The scope of the criminal activity he was involved in is really breathtaking. From throwing rocks to destroying police cars, starting fires, stealing from pharmacies,” said Rod Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney.
In addition, two months after the riots, Betts shot a woman over a drug deal – she gave him $20 for heroin and he wanted $40, so he tried to kill her.
The City of Baltimore estimated damages of the riot at $20 million citywide.
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