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2 Convicted of Murdering Sylmar Man

After a week of deliberations, a San Fernando Superior Court jury Wednesday convicted two men of murdering a Sylmar man who was chaperoning a Sweet 16 party last year.

John Tanner, 23, of Lake View Terrace was found guilty of shooting John Shaw, 23. Jeffrey Evans, 24, of Lake View Terrace was found guilty of second-degree murder for aiding and abetting Tanner.

But the jurors were still deliberating the charges against Dennis Elliot, 24, of Pacoima, who prosecutors charge was involved in the quarrel that provoked the shooting.

During the eight-week trial, Deputy Dist. Atty. Edward Nison argued that Tanner, Evans and Elliot, who he said are gang members, approached Shaw as he stood with other guests in front of the house in the 14900 block of Aztec Street in Sylmar. Evans asked the party-goers if they were affiliated with gangs. Shaw replied that he was not, which Tanner interpreted as a slight, Nison said.

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Tanner shot Shaw four or five times in the back and chest, he said.

Tanner testified he was asleep at home after drinking with friends all day when the shooting took place.

Evans and Elliot also are charged with attempted murder in a drive-by shooting involving a 20-year-old Pacoima man, Cedric Finley, in Lake View Terrace about half an hour before the Sylmar killing. Finley was shot at four times but was uninjured, Nison said.

The jury was still deliberating charges stemming from that shooting.

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Sentencing for Tanner and Evans was set for Aug. 11. Both face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.


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