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California

Shooter who fired ‘like a madman’ at homeless camp in Venice gets 93 years in prison

A gang member who shot and killed a homeless man on the Venice boardwalk four years ago was sentenced to 93 years to life in prison Wednesday.

Francisco Cardenaz Guzman, 32, was convicted in March of first degree murder, attempted murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm after the 2015 shooting death of Jascent-Jamal Lee Warren, a 26-year-old homeless man nicknamed “Shakespeare.”

For the record:
8:00 PM, Apr. 17, 2019 A headline on a previous version of this article said that Francisco Cardenaz Guzman was sentenced to 78 years in prison. He was sentenced to 93 years.

Warren had been trying to ease tensions after an early morning argument between a hotel owner, Sris Sinnathamby, and another homeless man when Guzman walked up with a gun, according to witnesses.

As the argument unfolded, Guzman approached Sinnathamby. Police said the hotel owner used a racial slur, and then Guzman began shooting at the crowd, most of whom were homeless black people. One other homeless man was wounded.

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He was shooting like a madman,” said Kiva Blount, who was preparing her bed in the nearby encampment when the shooting happened. Blount said Guzman reloaded before fleeing in a dark SUV.

Some of the homeless people began beating up Sinnathamby after the shooting, and he ran into his hotel and locked its doors. Police arrested him outside his hotel later that morning.

Sinnathamby was charged in August 2015 with first-degree murder. About a month later, Guzman was arrested.

At the time, Deputy Dist. Atty. Kristin Trutanich said Sinnathamby had “aided, abetted and directed” the deadly shooting. The hotel owner pleaded not guilty in September 2015, and in 2016, the case against him was dismissed.

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Sinnathamby’s attorney, Alan Jackson, said that the hotel owner never used a racial slur and that the allegations against him were found to be false by a judge during a preliminary hearing.

alejandra.reyesvelarde@latimes.com

Twitter: @r_valejandra


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