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California Briefing / Santa Ana

Death penalty for gang member

August 15, 2009|Ann M. Simmons

An Orange County gang member was sentenced to death Friday for murdering a 13-year-old boy, whom he mistook as a rival, according to the county district attorney's office.

Jason Alejandro Aguirre, 34, of Garden Grove was found guilty by a jury May 21 in the shooting death of Minh Tran six years ago. Aguirre also was convicted of shooting Tran's 14-year-old brother, Anh Tran, and his cousin, Ahn Ta, also 14. They survived.

Prosecutors said Tran went to buy tacos with his brother, two cousins and an uncle in August 2003 at Alerto's Mexican Food in Westminster, an eatery then known as a hangout for members of Aguirre's criminal street gang.

When the three boys left the restaurant, some gang members followed in a car. They called cohorts to join them and cornered the boys in a cul-de-sac. Aguirre fired several shots into the boys' car, prosecutors said.

-- Ann M. Simmons

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