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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary | The Local Review

Norwalk Man Gets Life in Slayings of Wife, Deputy

March 21, 2000

LOS ANGELES — A Norwalk man who ambushed his estranged wife and an off-duty sheriff's deputy and bashed their heads with a 15-pound block of concrete was ordered Monday to spend the rest of his life in state prison.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James M. Ideman sentenced 31-year-old Reuben Kenneth Lujan to serve two terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Aug. 16, 1998, bludgeoning deaths of Monica Lujan, 26, and Gilbert Madrigal, 45.

Ideman also added three years to Lujan's term for stalking his estranged wife.

The judge's decision followed emotional testimony from both victims' family and friends.

"You're not even a man, you're not even a human being," Sally Velazquez said to her former brother-in-law in court Monday. Madrigal's best friend, senior district attorney investigator Steve Di Prima, told Lujan: "You are a coward and it's going to give us great pleasure knowing you are going to rot in jail and die a little each day for the rest of your life."

After deliberating for less than a day last month, a jury found Lujan guilty of two counts of first-degree murder. The panel also convicted him of the special circumstance allegations of lying in wait and multiple murders. A previous jury deadlocked last year on whether Lujan was guilty of first- or second-degree murder.

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