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Man Gets Prison in Slaying

November 14, 2002|Jean Guccione | Times Staff Writer

A 19-year-old Pacoima man was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Wednesday in the fatal shooting of a Kennedy High School student last year.

Victor Manuel Celis was convicted in July of second-degree murder for his role in the Sept. 13, 2001, killing of Ricky Loyd, 16, as he crouched behind a concrete wall seeking safety.

Celis could have been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison but received a reduced sentence after helping authorities prosecute his co-defendant, Hector Ramirez, 17, the alleged shooter.

Ramirez, who pleaded no contest to second-degree murder last month, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday in San Fernando. He faces 35 years to life in prison.

Authorities say Celis drove a rented car to the Granada Hills high school and stopped while Ramirez ran from the vehicle and shot Loyd in the head, then kicked him a few times as he lay dying.

Celis and Ramirez flashed gang signs as they were leaving the crime scene, Deputy Dist. Atty. John Morris said.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Warren G. Greene called Loyd's death "senseless."

"While Mr. Celis was not the person who shot Mr. Loyd, he was an active participant in it," Greene said. "It's not as though Mr. Celis could have been very surprised by what happened."

Earlier, Maricela Vaiz, 16, cried as she told the court how much she misses her cousin and wants to keep his memory alive.

"Ricky will always be remembered as a good example of a cousin and a friend who would always be there," Maricela said.

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