No death penalty for man accused of killing toddler

Saquan Evans

Federal prosecutors are not planning on pursuing the death penalty against a man accused of killing a toddler.

Saquan Evans is charged with second degree murder in the shooting death of 20-month-old Rashaad Walker Junior. He was killed in November of 2010 while sitting in a minivan with his parents. Police believe Walker's father was the target in a gang retaliation shootingfor the death of former high school athlete Kihary Blue.

Federal prosecutors say Evans committed the murder while furthering the gang operations, so the crime can be included under RICO laws.

U.S. Assistant District Attorney John Katko says the Attorney General has decided not to pursue the death penalty in the case. In any death penalty situation, a panel reviews the circumstances and makes a recommendation to the Attorney General. The Attorney General then makes the decision.

Federal prosecutors are preparing for a trial. However, a trial will first happen in Onondaga County Court. That's where the second degree murder case will be tried. Katko thinks the federal trial could happen in late spring or in the summer.