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West Ventura County Focus

VENTURA : Man, 19, Gets 3 Years for Role in Slaying

October 01, 1994|DWAYNE BRAY

A 19-year-old former Ventura man was sentenced to three years in state prison Friday for his part in a deadly shooting last July.

Superior Court Judge Charles R. McGrath sentenced Ruben Viveros to the maximum term allowed under state law for accessory to murder.

Prosecutors said 23-year-old Roger Rowland was fatally shot July 21 by Viveros' co-defendant in the case, Thomas Al Corral, 23. Viveros drove Corral to Ventura from Las Vegas so Rowland could be killed, prosecutors alleged.

They say Corral was upset because Rowland was dating Melinda Corona, Corral's ex-girlfriend.

Corral burst through the door of Corona's Ventura home and shot Rowland, they said. Viveros, who pleaded guilty last month, drove Corral back to Las Vegas after the shooting.

Ventura police arrested the two men in Las Vegas three days after the shooting. They say the victim and the defendants were gang members.

In court, McGrath refused a defense attorney's request to sentence Viveros to a lesser term of 16 months in prison.

"This defendant has a substantial (criminal) record," said the judge, adding that Viveros' past brushes with the law included violence against his own family.

Deputy Public Defender Brian Boles argued that Viveros had no idea that Corral planned to murder Rowland. He called Viveros a "passive participant" in the killing.

But Deputy Dist. Atty. Richard E. Simon said Viveros should have known what to expect.

"When you are going to visit someone at midnight (with a loaded gun), you should have some clue as to what might happen," the prosecutor said.

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