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Killer who shot L.A. man for $300 is sentenced to life in prison

Killer who shot L.A. man for $300 is sentenced to life in prison
Jaime Sharif Abu Awad, seen in a DMV photo at left, was killed in April 2012 in the Vermont Knolls area of Los Angeles, near the intersection of South Hoover and 81st streets. (DMV / Los Angeles Times Homicide Report)

Jesus Mendez, 23, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the 2012 murder and robbery of Jaime Sharif Abu Awad, a businessman and father of two.

Speaking through an Arabic interpreter, Mohammed Abu Awad took the opportunity Tuesday morning in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom to address the killer of his 27-year-old son.

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"You took someone's life for $300," he told Mendez. "You're trash."

Judge Ronald H. Rose said that Mendez, a gang member, lacked any remorse throughout the proceedings.

During the trial, Mendez hurled a chair about 15 feet at an L.A. police detective and the prosecutor. The blow knocked down the detective. The jury was not present.

When the verdict was read, Rose said that Mendez laughed. Mendez was linked to the crime through phone records and evidence left behind. He also confessed to the crime twice, Rose said during a brief statement.

Two of Abu Awad's brothers also spoke at the sentencing hearing.

"My brother was a very good man. ... We lost something very valuable," said Belal Mohammed Abu Awad. "Don't think you've won."

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