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Jury Convicts 2 Brothers of Killing Youth in 1988

TIMES STAFF WRITER

More than three years after Jorge Rosales’ body was found in a Camarillo field, two brothers were convicted of his murder Tuesday in Ventura County Superior Court.

In returning the guilty verdicts against Gregory and Alexander Hines, the jury rejected Gregory Hines’ surprise testimony last week that he alone killed Rosales.

And in deciding that the brothers were guilty of first-degree murder, the jury also decided that the slaying was premeditated, rejecting Gregory Hines’ claim that it occurred in the heat of anger.

The outcome was a victory for Deputy Dist. Atty. Donald C. Glynn, who had an overwhelming case against Gregory Hines, 20, but less evidence against 32-year-old Alexander Hines.

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Glynn told the jury that the brothers killed Rosales, 17, because they believed that he threw a bottle that injured their mother during a fight in July, 1988. At the hospital where their mother was treated, both brothers threatened to harm whoever was responsible.

They left with Rosales, witnesses said. A few hours later, Rosales’ body was found in a field on the edge of Camarillo. He had been shot twice in the face with a shotgun.

The murder weapon turned out to be Gregory Hines’ gun. Gregory Hines was placed at the murder scene by an expert witness, who testified that some of the victim’s blood sprayed onto Hines’ shoe.

But the only evidence putting Alexander Hines at the scene was a single footprint from a sneaker with the same sole pattern as one of his shoes. And that footprint was found about 20 feet from the body, witnesses testified.

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Glynn said Tuesday that the footprint--combined with Alexander Hines’ threats and the fact that Gregory Hines did not know how to drive--made a convincing case.

“In light of everything else, it would be an incredible coincidence for someone else to have the same shoe pattern and walk by where the body was found,” Glynn said.

When Gregory Hines took the witness stand to testify that he alone killed Rosales, Glynn suggested that it was merely an attempt by a doomed defendant to save his brother. On Tuesday, Glynn commended the jury for apparently discounting the testimony.

“This strengthens my confidence in the jury system,” Glynn said. “They saw that this was a contrived story.”

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When the court clerk announced the verdict on Gregory Hines first, the defendant showed no reaction. Alexander Hines, seated next to him, bowed his head slightly when the clerk announced that he also had been found guilty.

The jurors, who had deliberated for three days, rushed from the courtroom afterward and declined to comment.

Superior Court Judge Lawrence Storch scheduled sentencing for Aug. 30. The brothers each face 26 years to life in prison and will have to serve about 18 years before they are eligible for parole.

The brothers were arrested hours after Rosales’ body was found, but they were released because of insufficient evidence. By the time prosecutors were ready to charge them, they had left the area and assumed aliases.

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Alexander Hines surfaced in Northern California where he was convicted in a sexual assault case in 1989 and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Investigators tracked down Gregory Hines in December in Minneapolis.

Outside the courtroom, the victim’s mother, Maria Rosales, said justice had been served. “I am very appreciative of the jury’s verdict,” said Rosales, who has four other children.


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