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San Diego

Jurors recommended Friday that a Reno, Nev., man convicted of four drug-related murders in 1986 be given a life sentence in state prison without the possibility of parole.

After deliberating nearly a day, the San Diego Superior Court jury rejected the death penalty for Carlos Fonseca, 25.

Judge Paul Overton scheduled formal sentencing for Sept. 12.

On June 21, the same jury found Fonseca guilty of first-degree murder for gunning down four people in a College Grove house on Dec. 27, 1986, and of attempted murder of a fifth victim who survived and identified Fonseca in court. The jury also found Fonseca guilty of special-circumstances allegations regarding multiple murder victims.

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The victims were Enrique Mejia-Beltran, 25; Rosa Partida-Medina, 27; Augustine Farfan-Jimenez, 20, and Miguel Martinez-Velasquez, 19. They were all Mexican nationals.

Surviving a gunshot wound to his back was Armando Garcia-Rubio, who is in his early 20s. He was a key witness in the trial, testimony in which began March 13 after two months of jury selection.

Fonseca is facing a second trial on charges that he tried to escape County Jail.


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