FAIRBANKS - The man convicted last year of opening fire on gang rivals on College Road in 2008 was given a lengthy jail sentence today by a Fairbanks judge, who said he hopes the sentence will deter other young Fairbanks residents from street gang activity.
Arron Young, 24, was sentenced to 42 years in prison on three attempted murder convictions and five counts of weapons misconduct.
According to the case against him, Young fired multiple shots from a silver SUV at a green Buick full of rival gang members in August 2008. No one was hit, but several bullets came within inches of bystanders.
According to some witness accounts, another person was in the SUV, although no one else has been charged.
Young will not be eligible for parole for 32 years.
In explaining the sentence, Superior Judge Michael MacDonald said the jail time was needed to express the community’s condemnation of “gangs, drugs and gun fighting.”
The community has had less of a problem with gang shootings in the last few years because more gang members are behind bars, he said.
While Young is in jail, he will likely encounter other gang members serving 1 or 2 year sentences for drug offenses, MacDonald said.
“You can tell them what’s waiting for them if they go down this path,” he said.
But MacDonald also said Young is a likely prospect for rehabilitation based on his youth, a criminal history otherwise free of violent crime and the support of family and friends who filled up half the courtroom at the hearing.
A recently retired Fairbanks Correctional Center employee testified at the sentencing hearing that he had resisted hiring Young because of his reputation as a “gangbanger.” But after working with him for three weeks, he said he found Young had a cool head, is receptive to criticism and is a hard worker.