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Friday, 30 October 2009

Marco Antonio Perez, 16, was prosecuted as an adult and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison

Marco Antonio Perez, 16, was prosecuted as an adult and sentenced to 50 years to life in prison, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Two other gang members have already been sentenced to multiple life sentences for their roles in the shootings; three others are awaiting trial.The shootings happened in 2006, when Perez was 14 years old. According to prosecutors, he took his father’s car and drove with the others into a rival gang neighborhood in Santa Ana, looking for rivals to kill.They found three, ages 14, 15 and 16.They shot the 14-year-old and the 15-year-old in the head, execution style, according to the District Attorney’s statement. They shot the 16-year-old in the stomach, leaving him in a coma. He survived after undergoing seven surgeries.A jury in June found Perez guilty of two felony counts of special-circumstances murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang, one felony count of attempted murder and one felony count of street terrorism. The jury also added sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and the vicarious discharge of a firearm as a gang member causing death and bodily injury.Two co-defendants, Norberto Hernandez, 24, and Angel Garcia, 21, were convicted earlier this year on similar charges; Hernandez was also found guilty of one felony count of assault with a firearm.Hernandez was sentenced to two life sentences in state prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 93 years to life. Garcia was sentenced to two life sentences without parole plus an additional 50 years to life.Three other co-defendants, all of them juveniles at the time of the crimes but being prosecuted as adults, are scheduled to go to trial early next year. Juan Roldan, 19, and Oiram Roman Ayala, 20, both face the same charges as Hernandez. Prospero Guadarrama, 19, faces the same charges as Perez.
The District Attorney’s Office alleges that Hernandez, Roldan and Ayala also walked into rival gang territory two days before the deadly shooting and confronted members of another gang. The two groups began shooting at each other, and a 47-year-old street vendor who was selling corn from a cart was caught in the crossfire.The vendor was hit in the back and paralyzed from the waist down.


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