De'Aundre Bonds had a promising acting career in front of him with film appearences in Get on the Bus, The Wood, and Three Strikes, but in 2001 he was charged and convicted for manslaughter, and sentenced to 11 years. We caught up with him recently and he updated us on his life.
De'Aundre Bonds for Street Gangs Magazine
August 10, 2006
I am in no way affiliated in any gang what so ever, nor have I ever been! I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, so I am no fool to the gang’s harsh reality. I’ve lost close friends to gang violence and I myself was victim to gang violence (I was shot 3 times).
I believe the circumstances that led up to my incarceration started with my environment and the ill’s that plague it; poverty, drugs, gangs, etc. My mother was a drug addict and my father was an alcoholic, and although I witnessed first hand the devastation and pain directly linked to drug and alcohol abuse, it still wasn’t enough to detour me from the same destructive path as my father.
I am currently serving time at Ironwood State Prison. In September, it will be the fifth year of my incarceration of serving an eleven year sentence for manslaughter. My transition from the life I was accustomed to has changed into one of a prisoner. However, I refuse to allow myself to become familiar with the prisoner mind set. I’ve never in my wildest nightmare envisioned myself having to endure something this traumatic and this soul wrenching.
I mean I was the one who was doing everything right, or so I thought. I’ve never banged and never sold drugs. I tried to keep myself out of positions where I could be harmed or where I could possibly harm someone, or so I thought. I never imagined my hands being involved in the loss of a life, or my being incarcerated in a California correctional facility for 11 years of my own life. I take full responsibility for my actions. I feel that the time I am serving could never amount to the life that was lost.
My only hope and desire now is to continue to evolve into a better man, a man of character and of substance, who has been tried by fire and ultimately purified and refined.
And, my hope is to also complete the time I have left to serve so that I can be reunited with my family and hopefully (if its Gods will for me) continue my acting career while positively moving forward with my life.
I’ve just completed my autobiography “Real Life”, and my hope is to someday have my story made into a feature film. I also have a production company (Take Off Productions) along with a friend of mine, (Francis Capra) from the show Veronica Mars. Our goal is to produce documentaries and quality stories inspired by real life events. Ultimately, I’d like to show people by example that even though tragic situations may occur, we don’t have to let the tragedy be the final definition of who we are or how great and productive we can still become.
Thank you Street Gangs Media, for allowing me the opportunity to express myself and get my message across. I would also like to thank from the depth of my being, my many fans for the many prayers and letters. Their faithfulness, compassion, and understanding has truly humbled me and kept me going when I felt I couldn’t make it. For this I am forever grateful!!!
Sincerely Yours, De'Aundre Bonds
If you want to contact De'Aundre, you may do so at the following address:
DeAundre Bonds, CDC#T 68611
C.R.C. 305-26 low
PO Box 3535
Norco, CA 92860