D.A. Car Thief Guilty on Many Counts

Arturo Samaniego, one of three suspects accused of stealing Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner's car outside Spago restaurant and kidnaping and threatening to kill his bodyguard, was found guilty Tuesday of one count each of kidnaping, assault with a firearm on a peace officer, robbery, grand theft auto and being an ex-felon in possession of a gun.

Samaniego, 35, was also convicted of two special allegations that could add time to his prison sentence. Those allegations are that he used a gun during commission of the crimes and that he previously served a prison term for a drug-related offense, Deputy Atty. Gen. Don de Nicola, the prosecutor, said.

Sentencing was set for Nov. 3, and Samaniego could be sent to state prison for about 11 years, De Nicola said. He remains in custody in lieu of $40,000 bail.

Samaniego was convicted at a brief non-jury trial by Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Robert W. Thomas. Samaniego's co-defendant, Victor M. Lopez, 20, awaits trial. A third suspect remains a fugitive.

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