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Mexico Gives Man 50 Years for 2 Baldwin Park Killings

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

David “Spooky” Alvarez, wanted by Los Angeles authorities for killing four people and wounding another three in Baldwin Park, has been sentenced by a Mexico City judge to 50 years in prison for two of the 1996 killings, a Mexican official said.

Jorge Ricardo Villalobos-Haddad of the Office of the Attorney General of Mexico said in Los Angeles that Alvarez, 30, was sentenced by a federal criminal judge for first-degree murder in the deaths of Robert Diaz Banuelos and Jose Manuel Rojas Heredia. Both were Mexican nationals.

The 50-year sentence will be added to a 40-year term imposed earlier for the attempted murders of Celia and Martha Diaz, who survived the attack, Villalobos-Haddad said.

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Mexican authorities could not prosecute Alvarez for the two other slayings, of Evelyn and Massiel Torres, ages 8 and 12, because they were not Mexican citizens and their cases did not fall under Mexico’s penal code, he said.

Alvarez was arrested in 1997 in Tijuana. He was to be extradited, but Mexican authorities said they would hand him over only if Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti guaranteed that he would not seek the death penalty against Alvarez, a U.S. citizen. Garcetti refused to agree to that condition. Mexican law does not recognize the death penalty.

Villalobos-Haddad said he hopes that family members of the victims can find a sense of justice knowing that Alvarez was sentenced to the harshest terms possible under Mexican law.

“Regardless of whether in the U.S. or Mexico, Alvarez will be in jail for life,” Villalobos-Haddad said.

According to Mexican and Los Angeles County prosecutors, Alvarez went with his girlfriend, Trinia Irene Aguirre, to the Baldwin Park home of his ex-wife, where the victims were tied up and shot.


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