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Alleged Gang Member Charged
in Shooting Death of Teen Actress


March 1, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Joe Scott, Director of Communications
Sandi Gibbons, Public Information Officer
Jane Robison, News Secretary
(213) 974-3525


LOS ANGELES – Murder and attempted murder charges were filed against an alleged gang member today in connection with an October 2005 shooting in Inglewood in which teen actress Tara Correa-McMullen was killed, the District Attorney’s office announced.

Damien Watts, 20 (dob 3-29-1985), already in custody in connection with an unrelated shooting, is scheduled to be arraigned in the next few days. He was charged in case No. BA298845 with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder. The complaint alleged Watts personally fired a handgun during commission of the crimes. The complaint also alleged the crimes were committed in association with a criminal street gang.

A bail of $3 million was requested by the District Attorney’s office. If convicted, Watts faces a maximum prison sentence of multiple life terms with the possibility of parole.

Deputy District Attorney Robert J. Sherwood of the Hardcore Gang Division said Watts is accused of the Oct. 21, 2005, shooting of McMullen, 16, whose true name was Shalvah McMullen. The shooting occurred outside an apartment complex in Inglewood when Watts, allegedly armed with an AK47 style assault rifle, and an as-yet-unidentified second gang member opened fire on a group of people. The gunfire occurred as McMullen and the others tried to run to safety inside the apartment complex.

McMullen died at the scene. Two other people were struck by gunfire, but survived.

McMullen had been playing the recurring role of “Graciela Reyes” on the CBS-TV series “Judging Amy.” She had been on the show since she was 14 years old. The victim also was in the 2005 film “Rebound” with Martin Lawrence.

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