An ex-con who was found guilty of murdering an Inglewood resident near a liquor store after a confrontation in Long Beach was sentenced today to 25 years to life in state prison.

Superior Court Judge Laura Laesecke said she was imposing the maximum term for Ronald Maldonado, 27, of Long Beach, who was convicted April 16 of second-degree murder for the March 29, 2022, killing of Larry Jefferson Jr., 24.

Maldonado — who had prior convictions for crimes including assault — also was found guilty of one count each of being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of ammunition.

“Clearly there is no excuse for this crime, Mr. Maldonado,” the judge told the defendant. “There’s no justification whatsoever. … It’s shameful what you did.”

The judge noted that the victim was attacked after objecting to the use of a racial slur uttered by a man with Maldonado shortly before the shooting.


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In a letter read by Deputy District Attorney Karen Brako, the victim’s sister, Tiffany Jefferson, wrote that what had happened has “greatly affected my life.”

She wrote that her brother was her only sibling and that she has lost her best friend.

“When he was killed, it turned our world upside down,” she wrote. “Larry did not deserve what happened to him.”

Speaking directly to the defendant, the victim’s father, Larry Jefferson Sr., told him, “You took a lot from us. … You didn’t have to shoot and kill him. … You beat him up in the store. Wasn’t that enough?”

The confrontation began at a liquor store in the 400 block of South Street, with the victim subsequently being chased out of the store and shot in the head and shoulder while in the street, according to the prosecutor.

Maldonado was arrested by Long Beach police just over two weeks after the killing, and has remained behind bars since then, jail records show.

The case against two others who were arrested along with him was dismissed after authorities determined that they were not involved in the killing, according to the prosecutor.