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The Region

A member of an ethnic Filipino gang has been sentenced to 26 years to life in state prison for the 1983 slayings of two young men. Simplicio Mortel, 26, of Glendale, a member of the Highland Park-area Satanas gang, was sentenced by Los Angeles County Court Commissioner Sam Bubrick. Mortel was convicted in Bubrick’s court in July of two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Francisco Gamez, 22, and Luis Silva, 23, both one-time Mormon missionaries. Police said the victims had been on their way to pick up Gamez’s wedding tuxedo when they heard shots ring out from a car and proceeded to follow the car in order to catch a glimpse of its license plate. Two miles later, the men in the car they were following--one of them Mortel--opened fire on Gamez and Silva.


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