Gang member Jose Zapien was found guilty Monday of the 2006 Santa Monica murders of Eduardo Lopez and Miguel Martin as well as the attempted murders of 12 other people.
The two week trial ended after five hours of jury deliberation. Zapien is facing multiple life sentences without parole. Sentencing will be held on Jan. 9, 2014.
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, Martin, another local youth, was shot and killed by Zapien as Martin walked with his friends on the sidewalk in front of a park.
Detectives from the Santa Monica Police Department worked diligently to solve these acts of gang violence and to successfully prosecute Zabien.
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.
Deputy District Attorney’s Andrew Cooper and Angie Christides of the Hardcore Gang Division prosecuted the case and The Honorable George Lomeli, Judge of Department 107 of the Clara Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown Los Angeles, presided over the case.