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News, Santa Monica, Courts, Police Department

Gang Member Jose Zapien Sentenced To Life In Prison For 2006 Santa Monica Murders

Posted Jan. 9, 2014, 11:07 am

Jynarra Brinson / Mirror Contributor

Known gang member Jose Zapien, 25, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole plus 95 years to life for the 2006 Santa Monica murders of Eduardo Lopez and Miguel Martin and a dozen attempted murders.

A jury found Zapien guilty on Nov. 12, 2013 of the double murder and 12 attempted murder charges stemming from 2004 and 2006.

The murder of Lopez occurred on Feb. 28, 2006 and the murder of Martin occurred on Dec. 27, 2006.

The attempted murders occurred on those two dates as well as on Sept. 28, 2004, July 9, 2006, and Oct. 21, 2006.

In one shooting Zapien was with other suspects when they approached a group of young teenagers and fired several gunshots, killing 15-year-old Lopez.

Just two days after Christmas in 2006, Martin, another local youth, was shot and killed by Zapien as Martin walked with his friends on the sidewalk in front of a park.

LA County Deputy District Attorney Andrew Cooper who prosecuted the case was pleased with Thursday's sentencing.

"A dangerous individual who chose to extinguish the lives of two young men, and put an entire community at risk has been removed from the streets forever," Cooper said.

The Santa Monica Police Department worked in collaboration with patrol officers and detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s West LA and Pacific Divisions, as well as with attorneys from the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Specialized Prosecution Unit which encompasses the Hardcore Gang Division.

"Because of great teamwork between and the tireless efforts of the Hardcore Gang Division and our partners, justice has been served," Cooper said a few minutes after the sentencing.

The Honorable George Lomeli, Judge of Department 107 of the Clara Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles, presided over the case.

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Jan. 9, 2014, 4:14:42 pm

Mike said...

A life sentence is a waste of tax payer money. 2 murders and 12 attempts- i am sure he will spend his time on education and rehabilitation rather than run with prison yard gangs. Think of all the teachers and counselors we can hire for children with money spent keeping this sub human alive in jail.....

Jan. 9, 2014, 6:47:09 pm

Irene Lawrence said...

Thank God justice has been served.

Jan. 10, 2014, 10:27:20 am

fernando said...

I had the honor of coaching Eddie in the Hawaiian Baseball World Series when he was 15. He was a good friend and team mate of my son Kyle. His mom and brother are very good people. His mom was and is a big fan of Eddie. One day she walked to my home to thank me for always being there for her son. I was there with the family during this devastating time. Police Chief James Butts and I visited the family at their home together. He assured Eddie's mother that the police department would do everything possible to apprehend the killer. I know that Eddie's moms heart will forever ache. And I know she and his brother and friends will miss him but remember him forever. I thank God that justice has been served. Thanks to the Santa Monica Police Department and all the agencies involved in bring some closure to Eddie's family. We will never forget you Eddie. One Love.

Jan. 10, 2014, 1:25:33 pm

Rafael Cabrera said...

It is a tragedy and a shame. I feel for the victims, those murdered, those nearly killed, and their love ones, as well as those traumatized by Jose''s actions. I also send condolences to his parents, they never wished this and they suffer like the parents of Eduardo and Miguel. Where did Jose go wrong? Please keep in mind that a child's brain is not fully developed till they are about 25 years of age. Jose was a hurt child and how many tried to help him and give him the love that he needed. Many of our children are in pain and suffering, looking for love and getting something other. I pray that this will help others to see this plight. Again, to all the victims, my heartfelt prayers. P.S. I was in pain and suffering and in prison for 29 years for gang crimes that I terribly regret each day and continue amend. There is hope for Jose and those that are on similar paths.

Feb. 28, 2014, 9:02:37 pm

criminal said...

you got smoked eduardo. thats what happens when you gangbang. your people should stop portraying you like some school boy. and those who didnt know you. he wasnt any better then who killed him. just another gangster ya' say

Feb. 28, 2014, 9:04:40 pm

criminal said...

it was a pleasure knowing you YOUNGSTER FROM VARRIO SOTEL 13. mad props FUCK SMACKS

Nov. 9, 2014, 5:30:11 pm

SM said... sound stupid ass fuck i grew up w eddie he , nor the other 2 homies he was with were gang banging , they wore black tee shirts n dat ledd to the drive by , also kno yg wasnt ths one who even killed my homie you stupid piece of shit if you had a chance to kno eddie n his mom youd be ashamed of this murderv, all this foo did was play baseball n footb all n occupy his time being w his mom n gramma , on the other hand when you die , no bodyvwill even care or notice , oh n do u even write or kick yg money down ? Bet u are prolly a tweaker ..u dont even bang

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