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Gang member sentenced to death for three murders

On Dec. 1, a California man received the death penalty for murdering three men who had wronged his street gang. The sentence was handed down in Riverside Superior Court.

According to authorities, the 27-year-old defendant was a member of the San Ja street gang, the oldest street gang in San Jacinto. In September, a jury found him guilty of killing three men associated with the gang. The first victim was shot to death while going on a beer run. He was reportedly killed for dropping out of San Ja. The second victim was shot on an Indian reservation. According to police records, he had assisted authorities on previous investigations. The third victim was a member of a rival gang and killed as part of a turf war.

The defendant's girlfriend, age 24, was present for the killings. She was sentenced to 26 years in prison after pleading guilty to three counts of voluntary manslaughter. Another accomplice, a 17-year-old male, will be tried in juvenile court. Under California's Prop 66 law, the defendant must complete all legal challenges to his death sentence within five years.

Murder convictions carry harsh consequences in the state of California. Possible punishments include fines, life in prison and even the death penalty. Therefore, it is important for murder defendants to get legal help as soon as possible. An attorney could carefully review the evidence for details that could undermine the prosecution's case, which could lead to a dismissal of charges. If the evidence in the case is strong, legal counsel could attempt to negotiate a plea deal that reduces the charges. This could help the defendant avoid the death penalty.

Source: CBS Los Angeles, "IE Gang Member Sentenced To Death For 2013 Murders Of 'Rivals'," Dec. 1, 2017

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