June 19, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Cal Supreme Court Refuse Case of Gang Member’s Murder Spree in Santa Monica

The latest courts news coming out of the Westside (Thinkstock).
The latest courts news coming out of the Westside (Thinkstock).

The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case against a gang member convicted of murdering two people, including a 15-year-old boy, and trying to kill a dozen others in a crime spree in Santa Monica.

Jose Zapien was convicted in November 2013 of two counts of murder for the gang-related Feb. 28, 2006, shooting death of high school athlete Eddie Lopez and the Dec. 27, 2006, killing of Miguel Martin, 20.

Lopez was shot to death as he and two friends were eating snacks outside a liquor store, and Martin was killed while walking with friends through the parking lot of a park.

Jurors also found Zapien guilty of 12 counts of attempted murder for shootings — in which one person was struck by gunfire — between September 2004 and October 2006 in Santa Monica.

Authorities believe Zapien committed the bulk of the crimes in retaliation for the 2004 shooting death of a fellow gang member by a rival gang member.

He was sentenced in January 2014 to life in prison without the possibility of parole, with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George G. Lomeli admonishing him to “stop smiling” as one of the victim’s relatives was speaking.

In November, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that he should have been tried separately for the shootings in 2004 and 2006.

“No one incident was more inflammatory than another,” the appellate court panel found in a 21-page ruling. “Rather, all charges arose from the same set of facts, basic and generic in the sense that they were gang-related drive-by shootings.”

The appeals court justices found that he had “failed to make a clear showing” that the decision to consolidate his two cases had prejudiced him.

They also rejected the defense’s claim that there was insufficient evidence to support his conviction on two of the attempted murder charges.

Related Posts

Brentwood, Palisades, West LA Libraries Closures for Juneteenth

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

Upcoming Program and Event Schedules for The Week  Brentwood Library Schedule: We are celebrating Juneteenth this Wednesday, June 19! The...

LAUSD Board Approves Cell Phone Ban for District Schools

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

Resolution Aims to Be Effective by January 2025 The LAUSD board voted 5-2 on Tuesday to pass a resolution authored...

Gunfire Incident at Westchester Park Leads to Arrest, Prompts Community Meeting

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

LAPD Pursues Suspect After Shots Fired, Councilmember Responds An LAPD spokesperson confirmed that a disturbing incident took place at Westchester...

Culver City Police Make Multiple Arrests During the Week of June 6 to June 11

June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

Stolen Vehicles, Narcotics, and Firearms Recovered in a Series of Incidents The Culver City Police Department had a busy week...

Toddler Fatally Struck by Relative’s RV at Dockweiler State Beach

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

2-Year-Old Child Lancaster Identified as Victim in Tragic Accident A toddler died Saturday after being struck by a relative who...

Texas Man Sentenced to 33 Months for Threatening U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

Gaherty Targeted the Congresswoman With Racist and Violent Threats  A Texas man was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison...

LAUSD Considers Cell Phone Ban for Students During School Day

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

Some Parents Object Citing Safety Issues During a Crisis The Los Angeles Unified School District is considering a policy that...

Brentwood Beat: Giving Some Brentwood Thanks on the Fourth of July

June 17, 2024

June 17, 2024

As July 4th approaches, we should be thankful to live in America.   Sure, our country has its issues, but immigrants...

West Hollywood Resident Robbed at Gunpoint Near Sheriff’s Station After Pride

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Victim Recounts Harrowing Early Morning Encounter in Rainbow District A West Hollywood resident and his friends were heading home in...

Michelin-Starred Chef James Kent Passes Away, Saga Hospitality Group Announces

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Chef Kent Is Remembered for His Culinary Excellence and Charity Work The Saga Hospitality Group announced the death of Michelin-starred...

Film Review: Longlegs

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

LONGLEGS is pure poetic eldritch terror. From the very beginning, director Osgood Perkins uses the actors’ performances, cinematography, and even...

Two Men Arrested After Injuring Elderly Woman in Road Rage Incident at LAX

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Violent Altercation Hospitalized Elderly Passenger  Los Angeles Police Department detectives from the Pacific-LAX Division have arrested two men involved in...

Judge Rules in Favor of Tenants in Historic West Los Angeles Eviction Case

June 16, 2024

June 16, 2024

Landlord’s Eviction Plan Under Ellis Act Rejected, Tenants Can Stay After a lengthy legal battle that spanned over a year,...

Marina del Rey Sportfishing: A Great Day on the Water

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Fishing is a pastime like no other. You can experience the nostalgia of that pastime in real time at Marina...

University of Miami President to Replace Gene Block Amid Controversy

June 14, 2024

June 14, 2024

Julio Frenk Named New UCLA Chancellor at UC Regents Meeting The search for a new chancellor at UCLA is over....