PANORAMA CITY : 2 Gang Members Convicted of Murder
Two Panorama City gang members were convicted of murder Friday in a retaliation killing outside a North Hills doughnut shop.
Two separate juries in Van Nuys Superior Court delivered verdicts in the seven-week cases against Jose Santos Nunez Martinez, 22, and Jorge Luis de la Riva, 20.
Police solved the shooting of Miguel Cacares only after Martinez wrote a letter about the slaying to a fellow gang member and the correspondence was intercepted by state prison officials.
Martinez, who wrote in the letter that he instructed the gunman “not to shoot til they got closer,” was convicted of second-degree murder.
Martinez faces a sentence of 23 years to life in state prison, to be set at a Sept. 10 hearing.
De la Riva was convicted of first-degree murder for being the gunman who shot Cacares with a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle. He faces a prison term of 36 years to life.
Martinez wrote in his three-page handwritten letter that a rival gang had chased some members of his gang, so a group went out looking for revenge on March 29, 1992.
Martinez and De la Riva found their target in the parking lot of a mini-mall at the intersection of Roscoe and Sepulveda boulevards in North Hills, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Franco Baratta.