- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A man accused of spraying bullets at a rival gang member and killing a 5-year-old Omaha girl who was inside her house a block away was sentenced to 65 years in prison Thursday.

Vincent Hicks, 21, was sentenced in Douglas County District Court. Hicks had pleaded no contest and been convicted of second-degree murder and use of a weapon to commit a felony in the death of Payton Benson, who was a block away from the shooting eating breakfast when a bullet struck her. Prosecutors had lowered the charges in exchange for Hicks’ pleas.

Authorities have said Hicks and three other men were riding in a stolen vehicle on Jan. 15, 2014, when they spotted someone they thought was a rival gang member. Three of them got out and opened fire with handguns and a rifle.

Their bullets struck three homes. One of the stray rifle bullets went through a wall of Payton’s home, struck her and then went out another wall, authorities said.

Investigators have said they suspect Hicks fired the rifle, but the weapon has not been found.

Another of the four men also was sentenced Thursday. Jaylen Montgomery, 20, was given eight to 18 years on two weapons convictions.

The remaining two men involved are scheduled to be sentenced on April 27.

Jacob Brown, 22, has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge, and Adonus Moses, 23, has pleaded no contest and been convicted of conspiracy as well. The felony count carries a sentence ranging from one to 50 years.

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