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2nd Brother Gets Life in Slaying of Couple

March 21, 1985

POMONA — Francisco Carlos, convicted two months ago in the bludgeoning and shooting death of a Baldwin Park couple, has been sentenced in Pomona Superior Court to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The 45-year-old former resident of Rosemead could have his sentence commuted by the governor after 30 years, but his attorney, Henry Bastien, expressed doubt that Carlos will live that long.

"In 30 years he'll be 75," Bastien said. "How long do people in prison live?"

The sentence was imposed last week by Judge Sam Cianchetti. An appeal will be filed with the state Court of Appeal, Bastien said, and will be based on publicity surrounding Lorenzo Carlos, Francisco's brother and accomplice in the killings. Lorenzo Carlos pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder early in the trial of the two brothers, and was sentenced earlier this month to 30 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Bastien said that during the trial, some of the jurors learned through news media accounts that Lorenzo Carlos had pleaded guilty, influencing their opinions about his brother's guilt.

The brothers were convicted of entering a Baldwin Park furniture factory owned by Able Casteneda and his wife, Mireya, in March, 1983, beating them with table legs and stabbing, strangling and shooting them because of a supposed business dispute.

The couple's 12-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son, who said they witnessed part of the attack, testified during the trial.

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