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Fresno gang member gets life in prison for killing pregnant woman

A Fresno gang member was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the shooting death of a 20-year-old near-term pregnant woman, driving her despondent husband to kill himself a short time later.

Jose Angel Perez Jr. was sentenced in court Wednesday, where he acknowledged his role in the death of Nath Ouch --killed in a barrage of bullets outside an apartment complex in 2006 -- in a statement he gave at the hearing, the Fresno Bee reported.

“I’m here as a man today to accept responsibility for my actions,” Perez told the victim’s family. 

On Feb. 1,  2006, Perez and another gang member fired multiple shots at the apartment complex where rival gang members lived, with one of the bullets fatally striking Ouch, who was eight months' pregnant, the Bee reported.

Authorities said she was an innocent victim caught in the middle of a gang war.

After the fatal shooting, Perez fled to Mexico, where he lived for five years before he was tracked down and arrested by FBI agents. The other gang member involved in the shooting, Sokmorn Chea, was convicted in 2007 and is serving life in prison without parole.

Last month, a jury convicted Perez of first-degree murder in the killing of Ouch and her unborn child.

On Wednesday, Judge Wayne Ellison sentenced Perez to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

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ruben.vives@latimes.com

Twitter: @latvives

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