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Two sentenced in death of boy, 12, outside L.A. club

February 17, 2007|From the Associated Press

A death sentence and a life prison term were handed down Friday to two men convicted of a submachine gun attack outside a South Los Angeles nightclub that killed a 12-year-old boy.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge sentenced Carlos Marvin Argueta, 21, to death and Enrique Gonzalez, 21, to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Argueta was also convicted of shooting and killing 24-year-old Jorge Lua, who was riding in a car on Valentine's Day 2004 in South Los Angeles, prosecutors said.

The day after Lua's slaying, Argueta sprayed 21 bullets from a submachine gun at a group gathered in front of a nightclub, killing 12-year-old Gregory Gabriel and injuring two others, including a 13-year-old girl, authorities said.

Argueta had been called to the nightclub by Gonzalez, authorities said.

Argueta told investigators that he fired into the air and didn't intend to hurt anyone, Deputy Dist. Atty. Truc Do said.

In court, the boy's sister, Charlene Myers, told Argueta, "You may have ended Gregory, my little brother's life, but not his legacy. We will continue to make this world and these streets and our life, in his name, a better place. We will forever use his name to keep guys like you off the streets. Gregory John Gabriel will never be forgotten, unlike you."

In October, Argueta was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances that made him eligible for the death penalty. He also was convicted of seven counts of attempted murder for a later shooting rampage targeting people he thought had testified against his brother in an unrelated case. Jurors deadlocked on an eighth count.

Gonzalez was convicted separately in Gregory's death but acquitted of the Lua killing.

Argueta's attorney, Randy Short, acknowledged that his client shot Gregory but said he was the driver and Gonzalez the gunman during the other shootings.

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