Camden man gets life in killing of men

A Camden resident convicted in June of aggravated manslaughter in the deaths of two men was given a sentence Friday that will keep him in jail for the rest of his life.

Raheem Harrity, 29, of the 2800 block of Cushing Road, has a sentence under which parole could not be considered for 90 years, authorities said.

A jury found Harrity guilty in the May 2004 shooting deaths of Alejandro Soto, 32, of Woodlane Avenue, Edgewater Park, and Alejandro Rios Castro, 18, of the 900 block of North 10th Street, Camden.

Desiree King, who was Soto's fiancée and is the mother of his 6-year-old child, recalled for Superior Court Judge Thomas Brown the moment she found out about the shooting.

"Being almost eight months pregnant, I never dreamed I'd get such a life-changing phone call," King said, later telling Harrity, "What you've done is irreversible, and my son will never have the opportunity to meet his dad."

Camden County Assistant Prosecutor Donna O'Brien asked the judge for a lengthy sentence, noting the shootings unfolded in front of children.

The victims were in a Jeep at Sixth and Erie Streets in North Camden at 8:19 p.m. on May 27, 2004, when Harrity pulled up in a 1995 Chevrolet Monte Carlo and fired repeatedly, authorities said.

Both men were shot in the head as Soto's two young nieces were standing next to the Jeep, authorities said.

The girls were not injured.

Brown sentenced Harrity to life in one death and 30 years in the other, to be served consecutively.

The judge noted the need for deterrence, the reckless and cruel nature of the crimes, and Harrity's prior criminal record, which includes a federal drug conviction.


Contact staff writer Barbara Boyer at 856-779-3838 or bboyer@phillynews.com.