Suspect in Teenager's Death Faces Tougher Charge Under New Law

Prosecutors Friday filed a murder charge with a special enhancement against a 25-year-old man for use of a firearm in the shooting death of a teenager at a Rosemead motel.

Kendrick Bencomo Jr. appeared in Rio Hondo Municipal Court in El Monte, but did not enter a plea. He remains in custody on $1 million bail pending arraignment March 19 on charges of killing 15-year-old Alejandro Mathias Jacquez of Highland Park.

Bencomo was charged under a new enhancement known as "10-20-life" that calls for a life sentence for anyone convicted of discharging a weapon and causing great bodily harm to another and prohibits plea bargains, said Sandi Gibbons, a district attorney's spokeswoman.

Sheriff's deputies who were summoned to a motel on San Gabriel Boulevard on Thursday found the boy's body in the doorway of a second-floor room. Later, they detained the blood-spattered suspect, who was wandering in the parking lot, and recovered a revolver believed to be the murder weapon, authorities said.

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