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Bus Hijacker Convicted of Capital Murder

September 10, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

A Reseda man who hijacked a bus and led police on a chase through downtown Los Angeles that ended in a fatal collision was convicted of capital murder on Tuesday by a Superior Court jury.

Carlos Ray Garcia commandeered the MTA bus in May 2001 near 8th and Blaine streets after shooting and wounding a man, police said.

Garcia grabbed the bus driver by the neck and held a gun to her head. With officers in pursuit, the bus sped through rush-hour traffic, weaving and running red lights before it broadsided a van driven by Guadalupe Arevalos, 34, of Norwalk. She was killed.

The jury Tuesday also found Garcia guilty of attempted murder, robbery, kidnapping for carjacking and evasion of an officer resulting in death.

The penalty phase of the trial begins Thursday.

The jury will be asked to determine whether Garcia should be executed.

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