Montebello Moms Reminisce Over Mother’s Day

May 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

While some may argue that Mother’s Day is a holiday concocted by greeting card companies and florists to profit off people’s love for their mother, children everywhere — whether in their teens, 30s or senior citizens — are sure to be scrambling right about now to make plans or find the perfect gift to show Mom how much they care for them.

The holiday, celebrated the second Sunday of May, will fall on May 11 this year. Which means that anyone with a mother figure, which could actually be a grandmother or an aunt, is expected to shower their Mom, be it with the cliché bouquet of roses, hand crafted cards or a restaurant outing with the family.

Some mothers will think they are lucky if they just get a phone call, while others will devote the day to pampering themselves at spas and salons, taking time to be away from their children.

And for some Latina mothers, the accolades will take place over two days, because they also get to observe the holiday on May 10, as they do in Mexico and several Latin American countries.

And while the date to honor Mom may be the same, how it’s done and what it means can be a very individual thing.

EGP decided to take to the streets of Montebello this week to ask mothers of all ages what Mother’s Day means to them, and the best advice they received about being a mother. Here’s what we heard:

—For 26-year old Melissa Ortiz and her daughter, Mother’s Day means a time to celebrate the holiday with four generations of mothers as she joins her mother and grandmother at their traditional family barbeque.

With so many wise mothers around her, Ortiz says she applies the advice she gets about motherhood everyday: “You are your child’s first teacher, it’s your job to teach them about responsibility and growing up, not teachers, not anybody else,” she told EGP.

—Lifelong Montebello resident Maria Martinez, 56, will be celebrating Mother’s day with three generations of mothers on Saturday. Her daughter and mother will join her at a mariachi restaurant to celebrate the holiday on May 10 this year.

The mother of two says she lives by the advice her mother gave her:

“Love your children and respect your children,” she said.

—For only child, Arlene Sandoval, 49, Mother’s Day holds a very special place in her heart. She told EGP that her mother was hard to shop for before she passed away.

“As the years went on she would just give them [gifts] back to me,” she laughed before getting teary eyed remembering her Mom. “She would tell me ‘you should use them.’”

Sandoval said her mother was spoiled; they celebrated on both dates.

“She got flowers on Mexican Mothers Day and we would get dressed up and go to brunch on the American holiday.”

—For sixty-six-year-old Yolanda Guzman, the loss of her mother has affected the way she celebrates the holiday. “I tried to blow off Mother’s Day because it was hard,” says the mother of four.

The best advice she got from her mother was “don’t ever hold grudges with your siblings,” she said. Her mother also advised her to not let fights between her children and their cousins cause friction between Guzman and her siblings.

“Don’t take it serious, just let them play and don’t get involved.”

—Sara Onorato, 34, receives surprises from her children every year, including crafts they make at school.

The mother of two told EGP she has learned that “motherhood is something you learn day by day.”

—Although Alicia Garcia, 68, does not have children of her own, she says she celebrates Mother’s Day with one of her nieces, who is a mother herself.

“We have dinner outside like in the Philippines,” said Garcia, referring to her family’s traditions. “We get together to reminisce on our past and become closer.”

—On Mother’s Day, Martha Jimenez, 67, and her daughter will attend the Pasadena Showcase as they have for the past seven years. The best gift she ever received from her two adult children was a hot air balloon ride, she told EGP.

She said the best advice she got from her own mother did not come in the form of words. “She would physically show me how to take care of my son,” she said, referring to her mother’s presence when she needed help with her first-born.

—Rather than spending the day at a spa or salon, Maria Moyado, 31, will be spending the day with her three children.

“Some mothers go out on that day, but I like to spend the day with my children,” she said.

—When Ivana Campa, 34 gets dressed up to go to dinner with her husband and her young children this weekend, she will remember the words of wisdom from her mother, who does not like the connotation behind a day to celebrate mothers:

“It’s not just a one day celebration. You’re a mother all year long.”

Un Atrincheramiento en Highland Park Termina con Varios Arrestos

May 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Sharon Rodríguez y Guadalupe Sánchez despertaron el lunes por la mañana con el sonido del helicóptero del Departamento del Alguacil volando cerca y una voz masculina en auge advirtiendo a los residentes de su vecindario en Highland Park cerraran sus puertas y se mantuvieran dentro de sus casas.

En cuanto el ruido se “calmó”, se apresuraron a la escena a dos cuadras de distancia, donde los oficiales del alguacil estaban involucrados en una disputa con uno o más sospechosos atrincherados en una casa en el 5700 Aldama St. No estaban solos; docenas de residentes de la zona estaban mirando desde detrás del perímetro amarillo establecido por los oficiales entre la Avenida 57 y la calle Milwaukee.

“En realidad no he visto nada como esto desde hace mucho tiempo”, la residente de Highland Park Susan Luna le dijo a EGP. Ella escuchó el helicóptero y vio a los oficiales llamar a los sospechosos. “Decían ‘salgan y ríndanse con las manos en alto, porque no nos vamos a ir’”, dijo.

Los oficiales habían ido a esa dirección en busca de una mujer que creían que estaba involucrada en un robo que ocurrió en septiembre del 2013 en la Línea Dorada del Metro, de acuerdo al Oficial del Alguacil de Información Pública Ramón Montenegro.

Cinco personas se parapetaron dentro de la casa de uno de ellos por más de 6 horas mientras causaban angustia y curiosidad en el vecindario de Highland Park. (Foto por Nancy Martinez)

Cinco personas se parapetaron dentro de la casa de uno de ellos por más de 6 horas mientras causaban angustia y curiosidad en el vecindario de Highland Park. (Foto por Nancy Martinez)

Agregó que los oficiales de la Oficina de Tránsito del departamento tenían información de que la mujer sospechosa podría estar en esa casa. “Estábamos buscando a la sospechosa y fue entonces cuando nos dimos cuenta que un hombre salió corriendo de la casa,” Montenegro le dijo a EGP. Eran alrededor de las 8:30 a.m.

El hombre que huía, cuyo nombre aún no ha sido revelado, tenía un arma robada con él cuando fue puesto bajo custodia, dijo Montenegro.

La situación rápidamente se intensificó cuando “la sospechosa y otras personas se parapetaron dentro de la casa”, añadió. Sin saber a lo que se enfrentaban en el interior, si había más armas, el equipo del departamento de armas especiales (SWAT) fue llamado, según Montenegro.

Con un altavoz, los oficiales ordenaron repetidamente a las personas en el interior que salieran con las manos en alto pero no había respuesta.

“A las personas dentro del 5728 Aldama, salgan de uno en uno. Sabemos que están ahí; no nos vamos a ir a ninguna parte. Sólo será mas difícil para ustedes”, se oyó la voz de un hombre en repetidas ocasiones.

Un hombre que se encontraba cerca del perímetro le dijo a EGP que había una joven embarazada de 16 años de edad en el interior y que su tío [del hombre] era el padre del bebé, pero se negó a dar su nombre a EGP o el de la chica de la que alegaba estaba dentro. Dijo que la joven parapetada dentro de la casa no saldría hasta que “todas las camionetas de noticias estén aquí.”

Momentos más tarde, un hombre hispano salió con las manos en alto y fue puesto bajo custodia. Los oficiales del alguacil lo cuestionaron acerca de quién o quienes estaban dentro. “¿Es Rianna o Raquel?”, preguntó un oficial. Un miembro de la familia más tarde lo identificó como Rick Córdova, padre de Rianna, 18 y Raquel, 21.

Todavía no estaba claro cuántas personas se encontraban dentro de la casa. Eran más de las 11 a.m. Los oficiales continuaron llamando a los sospechosos parapetados a rendirse y utilizando los nombres de Rianna y Raquel en sus altavoces.

Miembros de la familia frenéticos de los residentes atrincherados en la casa comenzaron a llegar. Algunos vivían cerca y oyeron las órdenes del alguacil. Otros fueron llamados a la escena por los vecinos y los amigos u otros parientes preocupados porque los ocupantes no salían y la respuesta del alguacil iba creciendo en tamaño y fuerza.

La confusión aumentó. “¿Están adentro? ¿Están las niñas en el interior?” preguntó una mujer, refiriéndose a las hijas de Raquel Córdova. Repetidamente trataron de hacer contacto con Raquel y su hermana Rianna para averiguar si las niñas estaban en el interior y para que las enviaran hacia afuera si es que las tenían con ellas.

No había  respuesta.

Pasó más tiempo.

“¿Por qué no salen?, ¿Qué creen que están haciendo?”, dijo Rick Córdova Jr. de 43 años de edad y hermano de las jóvenes a quienes no había visto por un tiempo.

Su tía, Lorenza Córdova, hermana del Rick Córdova Sr. le dijo a EGP que ella pensaba que su sobrino y hermano de las jóvenes, Jacob, también podría estar dentro. “Él acaba de salir de la cárcel el domingo pasado”, dijo con incredulidad.

Rick dijo que cuando llegó llamó a Jacob por teléfono y este le dijo que llamara a los canales de noticias y luego colgó.

Mientras tanto, los oficiales del alguacil pidieron más apoyo, con la creación de un centro de mando móvil en un estacionamiento público cerca de la estación de la Línea Dorada en la Avenida 57.

Esteban Sheimpf , residente en la zona, dijo que escuchó el helicóptero alrededor de las 10:30 a.m. y llegó en su bicicleta para ver lo que estaba pasando. Dijo que se sorprendió al ver el espectáculo excesivo de fuerza. “ Los helicópteros, vehículos blindados, como 40 personas con armas de fuego automáticas. Parece una locura, opresiva”, Sheimpf le dijo a EGP. “Yo no sé por qué tienen [aquí] todas estas cosas que usan en una guerra”, agregó antes de decir que eso era una pérdida del dinero de impuestos de los contribuyentes.

Equipo SWAT, la policía del Noreste y el alguacil de Los Ángeles rodearon el área por alrededor de seis horas hasta que cinco sospechosos parapetados en una casa salieron uno a uno. (Foto de EGP por Nancy Martínez)

Equipo SWAT, la policía del Noreste y el alguacil de Los Ángeles rodearon el área por alrededor de seis horas hasta que cinco sospechosos parapetados en una casa salieron uno a uno. (Foto de EGP por Nancy Martínez)

Poco después, los familiares se enteraron de que las hijas de Raquel no estaban dentro como se temía. Se hicieron repetidas llamadas telefónicas a Rianna y el teléfono sólo sonó y sonó, sin respuesta, según Rick le dijo a EGP.

Una mujer preguntó, “¿Es cierto que Rianna está embarazada?” “Creo que si”, respondió otra mujer. “¿Por qué no sale?”, preguntó alguien más. “Probablemente están drogados”, alguien contestó.

Lorenza le dijo a EGP que la madre de las jóvenes se había mudado recientemente a otro estado para alejarse de su padre “abusivo”. “Espero que esto no la traiga de regreso”. dijo.

Alrededor de la 1:45 p.m. los oficiales intensificaron la operación poniendo un dispositivo de distracción blindado fuera del hogar. Una fuerte explosión de dispositivos sorprendió a los espectadores; miembros de la familia se apresuraron para obtener una mirada más cercana.

Uno a uno, los sospechosos parapetados salieron, comenzando con Raquel. Los espectadores trataron de identificar a los tres hombres y dos mujeres, que fueron detenidos sin más incidentes. Rianna no se encontraba entre los que salieron.

“¿Dices que Rianna no estaba allí?, ¿Estás bromeando?, dijo una de las espectadoras. “¿Por qué no contesta su teléfono entonces?”, añadió.

Los detectives del alguacil habían desalojado por completo la zona alrededor de las 2:30 p.m., dijo Montenegro.

En el momento de salir a prensa, el miércoles, no estaba claro si los sospechosos seguían en custodia.

Montenegro le dijo a EGP que los detectives todavía están buscando Rianna Córdova, la sospechosa del robo de la Línea Dorada. Su hermana Raquel inicialmente se identificó como Rianna ante los oficiales, dijo Montenegro.

Inicialmente cuando los agentes llegaron a la casa, estaban buscando información, agregó. Ellos no tenían una orden, pero se obtuvo una durante el tenso enfrentamiento.

Cuando se le preguntó si la respuesta del alguacil ante la situación era, como un miembro de la familia lo describió, “una exageración”, Montenegro dijo a EGP que los oficiales siguen las políticas y procedimientos del departamento. “¿Qué vas a hacer si alguien sale de la casa o disparara un arma? Nuestros oficiales siempre van a llegar al lado de la seguridad”, explicó.

 

Jacqueline García, Reportera de EGP, contribuyó en esta historia.

 

Commerce Recall Fails: City Councilmember Calls Fraud

May 8, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

A months-long campaign to recall four of the five City of Commerce council members has failed to qualify for the ballot and on Tuesday, the targets of the recall effort, council members Joe Aguilar, Ivan Altamirano, Tina Baca del Rio and Lilia Leon, happily certified the county’s findings that an insufficient number of valid signatures had been obtained on recall petitions.

In accepting the findings filed with Commerce’s City Clerk, council members were quick to criticize backers of the effort and to accuse them of committing fraud in their pursuit of signatures.

Mayor Del Rio accused backers of forging 900 to 1,000 signatures, and asked the city attorney what recourse the city has to hold those responsible accountable.

This is not over, she said, saying she wants to “bring these individuals to justice.”

Charging fraud, council members say they want “justice.” (EGP photo by Ana Gonzalez)

Charging fraud, council members say they want “justice.” (EGP photo by Ana Gonzalez)

The individuals who circulated the petitions or forged signatures will have to answer for the forgeries, the mayor said. “This is not over,” the council is not letting this go, she said.

Backers of the recall effort needed 1,577 signatures or 25% of the eligible voters in the city to sign the petitions: a separate petition was circulated for each of the council members.

More than 2,000 signatures were turned in on each petition, however, according to the County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk, some residents requested that their signatures be removed and hundreds more were determined to be invalid. On April 24, Commerce’s City Clerk, through the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office issued a “Certificate of Insufficiency” for each member since none of them reached the 1,577 signatures. After examining the signatures, the county found over 4,000 disqualified and/or withdrawn signatures on the combined petitions.

Valid signatures totals were as follows: Aguilar, 1,081; Altamirano, 1,233; Leon, 1,172 and Baca del Rio, 1,352.

There could be a multitude of reasons why signatures were disqualified, said Elizabeth Knox, public information officer with the L.A. County Registrar, but they are not specified in the county’s document. “It could be a different address, that the signature doesn’t match, the husband signed for both or that they didn’t sign the petition at all,” Knox told EGP.

“The fact that they failed to gather the required number of signatures is evidence that the majority of residents in our city understand that we are moving forward,” Altamirano told EGP. “Such numbers are outrageous and indicate potential illegal activities by the recall proponents,” he added.

A group, lead by Jaime Valencia, a two-time former council candidate and Commerce resident Miguel “Mike” Alvarado, worked on gathering the signatures required. On Tuesday, Del Rio singled out Valencia and Alvarado as possible culprits in the so-called forgeries.

However, on Wednesday Valencia assured EGP that his group did not “forge the signatures.” He said that today [Thursday] an “independent,” “high-powered attorney” and the recall campaign manager in charge of collecting signatures would be meeting with the county to review their findings.

“I can’t really comment right now, all I can say is that we didn’t do anything illegal,” he said.

In a previous article Valencia told EGP he denies claims by council members that he is just a disgruntled former candidate acting up because he was not elected; an accusation Del Rio made again on Tuesday. He said about 30 Commerce residents were involved in the recall effort.

On Tuesday, Mayor Pro Tem Leon asked if there is any way to track the recall campaigns financial expenditures, to which the city attorney responded that it would depend on how the group was set out, adding it would take time.

He further noted that the process was not yet complete since the recall backers still had the right to review the count’s finding, which they were expected to do this week.

Del Rio said Commerce residents are tired of the constant recalls. “It is the same group over and over again. They run for council, they don’t make it, ‘you’ become the center of recall,” Del Rio said at the meeting. “And all it is doing is smearing the name of the city,” in Commerce, in California,” she added.

“Even our U.S. Representative is embarrassed,” in Washington “they tell her your southeast communities can’t get it together,” Del Rio said.

On Wednesday, Del Rio questioned who is paying for the “two high-powered attorneys” who will be meeting with county officials today verify the signatures. Although Valencia told EGP the attorney –singular- is not being paid with residents’ tax dollars, he didn’t specify where he is from or how he is being paid.

“At this moment, we don’t know what’s the process but we’ll seek legal advice,” Del Rio told EGP.

Altamirano told EGP they will make sure that the issue is investigated and “the City will make sure that anyone who has tried to defraud Commerce voters is held accountable for their actions.”

County Opts For $2 Billion Jails Plan Despite Protests

May 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to move forward with a nearly $2 billion plan to raze and rebuild the Men’s Central Jail and construct a campus-like women’s jail at the former Mira Loma Detention Center.

Supervisor Don Knabe called the 3-1 vote — one member abstained — “a major step forward in improving our custody system and reducing crime in our community.”

The vote paves the way for pre-development design and cost engineering, though many more approvals will be necessary before any final plan is vetted.

Civil rights advocates and community activists denounced the project as an expansion of an inhumane system, while the board and its consultants presented it as a modern approach to criminal justice, with an emphasis on addressing inmates’ mental health needs.

Rob Nash, project manager for Vanir Construction Management Inc., said the project was designed “to treat the whole inmate.”

Community advocates said the new jail would do little to fix deplorable conditions.

“A new jail won’t prevent suicides. A new jail won’t ensure that county health officials provide proper diagnosis and treatment of mentally ill inmates. And a new jail won’t curb excessive use of force by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies against mentally ill inmates,” the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and the group Dignity & Power Now said in a joint

statement.

Assistant Sheriff Terri McDonald and Supervisor Michael Antonovich urged their colleagues to act now, warning that the U.S. Justice Department could step in to operate county jails. A DOJ probe into the treatment of mentally ill inmates is ongoing.

“If we don’t act, the choice will not be up to us … but a team of lawyers,” Antonovich said. He acknowledged the costs were daunting, but pointed out that the county hasn’t hesitated on other public projects that cost $1 billion or more.

The new jail, to be called the Consolidated Correctional Treatment Facility, would have beds for 4,860 inmates, 548 fewer than the Men’s Central Jail.

Opponents said the plans still amounted to a jail expansion, because most female inmates would be moved out of Century Regional Detention Center jail to a new 1,604-bed facility at Mira Loma in Lancaster, far from friends and family members.

To eliminate early releases, McDonald said the county needed 4,000 more jail beds.

Civil rights advocates argued that the county should be focused on diverting the mentally ill and low-risk drug abusers into community-based housing, as well as starting pretrial release programs and split sentences to reduce the number of inmates.

The Los Angeles County jail system amounts to the “largest mental health ward in the country,” with more than 3,000 inmates who suffer from mental illness, District Attorney Jackie Lacey told the board.

Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Zev Yaroslavsky called for more analysis of alternatives to incarceration.

“Keeping people out of jail who should not be in jail is the right thing to do,” Ridley-Thomas said. “There is no comprehensive and adequate approach to diversion.”

Department of Mental Health Department Director Marvin Southard said 1,200 would-be inmates have been diverted into mental health programs, and other department efforts were aimed at preventing arrests of the mentally ill.

But Lacey, who has assembled a Criminal Justice and Mental Health Project task force, said much more could be done to reform an “unjust” system. She cited innovative programs she visited in Florida’s Miami-Dade County; Memphis, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas, and elsewhere.

“They’re so proud of their programs, they’re actually shutting down wings of their jails,” Lacey said. “Something very profound is going on.”

Peter Eliasberg of the ACLU of Southern California and others urged the supervisors to delay any decision until Lacey’s task force makes its recommendations in about four months, or until the DOJ concludes its investigation.

Eliasberg said the next sheriff would have no input on the decision.

He said six of the seven candidates for sheriff oppose the new jail.

Yaroslavsky warned that the costs would increase significantly before the new downtown jail is completed in 2024.

“If you’re telling us it’s $2 billion today … it’s only going to go up,” Yaroslavsky said. He said he had been told that the costs could swing by 20 to 30 percent.

The board directed staff to return in 60 days with more analysis on diversion programs and other alternatives to incarceration, as well as design specifications and a review of the costs for the project.1

Yaroslavsky voted against the project, one of five alternatives presented to the board, while Ridley-Thomas abstained. The vote to further investigate alternatives to incarceration was unanimous.

 

 

Vernon Mayor Recognized For 40 Years of Service

May 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

(City of Vernon )

(City of Vernon )

Mayor W. Michael McCormick was recognized for 40 years of service in the city of Vernon during a city council presentation Tuesday.

McCormick was first elected to the city council in 1974 and has represented the city as a board member for Los Angeles County Sanitation, Independent Cities Association, The Orangeline Development Authority, Southeast Cities School Coalition and California Contract Cities Association.

 

Pictured: Mayor Pro Tem William “Bill” Davis presents Mayor W. Michael McCormick with a certificate of recognition during Tuesday’s council meeting.

Early Voting for June 3 Primary Underway

May 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Early voting in the June 3 primary election started Monday, and Los Angeles County election officials start mailing some 1.4 million vote-by-mail ballots.

County residents must request a vote-by-mail ballot by May 27 or vote in person.

Applications can be requested online at www.lavote.net or by using the form on the back of an official sample ballot. Registered voters can also apply in person at the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s main office at 12400 Imperial Highway in Norwalk.

Those who have already requested a ballot can check the status of their request online.

The primary includes state races for governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, controller and attorney general, among others, as well as numerous state Senate and Assembly races.

Several congressional seats are also in play, including a intensely contested battles to replace Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman, who is retiring from the Democrat-dominated 33rd Congressional District seat.

On the other side of the aisle, Republicans are hoping to replace Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, who is leaving his Santa Clarita-centered 25th district office.

County races include those for sheriff, assessor and two spots on the five-member Board of Supervisors. Long-standing incumbents Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky will be termed-out at the end of this year.

Get Latest Traffic With Metro’s Go511 App

May 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Up-to-the-minute local traffic updates are now available for iPhones, iPads and Android devices, thanks to the Go511 app, Metro announced Wednesday.

With the app motorists can:

— get quick access to the Call 511 system for motorist aid;

— see road conditions before starting a trip, via freeway cameras;

— access real-time Metro bus arrivals;

Up-to-the-minute local traffic updates are now available for iPhones, iPads and Android devices, thanks to the Go511 app, Metro announced Wednesday.

With the app motorists can:

— get quick access to the Call 511 system for motorist aid;

— see road conditions before starting a trip, via freeway cameras;

— access real-time Metro bus arrivals;

— see bus and train schedules;

— access scheduled departures for more than 70 transit agencies in Southern California;

— find the closes bus stop or rail station; and

— get information on road closures and SigAlerts.

“The app is not intended to be used during your trip,” Anna Chen of Metro cautioned. “We do not encourage drivers to use it while they’re driving.

The app is designed to look at before you start your trip … to see what your transit options are.’’

— see bus and train schedules;

— access scheduled departures for more than 70 transit agencies in Southern California;

— find the closes bus stop or rail station; and

— get information on road closures and SigAlerts.

“The app is not intended to be used during your trip,” Anna Chen of Metro cautioned. “We do not encourage drivers to use it while they’re driving.

The app is designed to look at before you start your trip … to see what your transit options are.’’

May 8, 2014 Issue

May 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

140508-EGP-Front-Pages

Monterey Park to Consider Dog Park at Special Council Meeting

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The Monterey Park City Council will meet today to among other items consider placing a dog park at Garvey Ranch Park. 

The council will decide if they want to move forward with the proposed location adjacent to the tennis courts at Garvey Ranch Park near the intersection of Orange Avenue and Metro Drive.

The proposed park will have separate areas for large and small dogs and only operate during the daytime. Although the concept of the dog park was a part of the Park Master Plan Capital Improvement Program that was approved by the council last year, the dog park itself has yet to be reviewed or approved by the council.

The council meeting was moved from the original Wednesday, May 7 date. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at city hall,  located at 320 W. Newmark Ave.

Gang Member Pleads No Contest to 2009 Highland Park Shooting

May 8, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

A gang member pleaded no contest Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter for the deaths of two teenage boys near a Highland Park recreation area five years ago.

Felix Gomez Jr., 23, faces 21 years in state prison, with sentencing set May 8 before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Craig Richman.

Gomez shot and killed Carlos Hernandez and Alejandro Garcia after a fight broke out between the two teens and a group of people on March 13, 2009, according to Deputy District Attorney Amy Ashvanian.

Hernandez was 15 and Garcia was 16, while Gomez was a 17-year-old documented gang member at the time of the shooting, authorities said.

 

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