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Metro Digest

Local News in Brief : Death Penalty Sought

February 12, 1988

Prosecutors said Thursday that they will seek the death penalty against a drug addict charged with shooting to death restaurateur Alberto Sarno during a holdup.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Sterling Norris said he disclosed the decision to seek a death sentence against ex-convict Ralph Mora, 33, during a pretrial hearing. Mora is accused of murdering Sarno, 59, during a holdup outside Sarno's gated Los Feliz home Oct. 20.

A former waitress at Sarno's Caffe Dell'Opera on North Vermont Avenue testified at a preliminary hearing in December that Mora told her that he and an accomplice named Bobby shot Sarno to death during an attempted robbery to "shut him up."

Norris said an associate of Mora named Bobby Lopez is being sought for questioning in the case.

Mora remains in custody without bail pending an April 15 hearing to set a trial date.

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