19-Year-old gets life in prison for murder at Phoenix park

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Brandon Martin Roberts By Jennifer Thomas Brandon Martin Roberts By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A 19-year-old man has been sentenced to life in prison for the fatal shooting of a 78-year-old man who was taking his nightly walk through a Phoenix park nearly two years ago.

A Maricopa County jury found Brandon Martin Roberts guilty of first-degree murder in March. Roberts was also convicted of attempted armed robbery and possessing a firearm as a minor.

Roberts was sentenced Friday and won't be eligible for parole for 25 years.

Milton Raffle was found unconscious and unresponsive in a park near 24th Avenue and Cactus Road on July 19, 2011. He later died at a hospital.

Police said Roberts and co-defendant Nadeem Alferikh were in the park to purchase drugs when they decided to rob Raffle. Roberts then shot Raffle with a stolen gun. They admitted to patting down the victim's pockets after the shooting to find anything of value.

Police learned the gun had been stolen from a nearby home several days earlier and found it dismantled in the attic of Roberts' house during the execution of a search warrant.

Alferikh pleaded guilty to manslaughter and is serving 14 years in prison.