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Prisoner gets 64 years for conspiracy to commit murder

An alleged gang member was sentenced to serve from 64 years to life in prison, plus 35 years, for charges of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and assault. The sentence was handed down in a San Diego, California courtroom on Sept. 16. The 33-year-old man was found guilty by a jury in December 2012, along with another man, age 38, for committing the crime on behalf of an unnamed street gang. The act was described as a Mexican Mafia-directed "hit."

During his 2012 trial, the man slashed his attorney in the cheek with a razor blade that he had smuggled into court in his mouth. The man served as his own attorney for the remainder of the trial.

The two men committed the murder in July 2010 while both were incarcerated at Donavan State Prison. The man sentenced was serving time at the prison for a 2010 manslaughter conviction.

California residents who face charges for gang crimes often turn to an attorney for help. Second or third convictions may impact a person's sentence. With the help of an attorney, that may not always prove to be true. A judge has the discretion to order the sentence on each conviction to run "concurrently" or "consecutively." A concurrent sentence is defined as when sentences for than one crime are served at the same time rather than one after the other. An attorney may be able to argue successfully why such a decision should be made. This possible choice by the judge may prove to be the difference of many years behind bars. The legal process in California can be intimidating for many people; however, an attorney may be of great benefit to people who face prison time.

Source: KUSI, "Gang member who slashed attorney in court gets 64 years for conspiracy", September 16, 2013

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