3 Get Long Sentences for Stabbings

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Three gang members convicted in the stabbing deaths of two rival gang members in a fight over ethnic pride have received long prison terms.

Superior Court Judge Luis Cardenas on Thursday sentenced Armando Moreno Jr., 20, to 39 years to life; Poe Meki Taula, 22, to 41 years to life; and Arnold Mendez Jr., 21, to 43 years to life.

The three men were convicted of killing Hector De La Torre, 24, of Santa Ana, and Oscar (Tiny) Jimenez, 18, of Garden Grove, on Jan. 6, 1990, after what police called a gang-related fight outside a party in Garden Grove.

The slain men were members of Anaheim and Santa Ana gangs, police said.

Shortly before midnight on Jan. 5, while there was a small party going on at a Garden Grove house, authorities said, people in the yard exchanged heated words with several Garden Grove gang members who were in a car that had stopped to drop off some guests. The gang members in the car later returned on foot, and the argument escalated after a bolt from a weightlifting set was thrown and, in less than a minute, Jimenez and De La Torre were stabbed. Friends took Jimenez to Garden Grove Medical Center and De La Torre to UCI Medical Center in Orange. Both later died at the hospitals.

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