Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Gang member sentenced in killing of Echo Park boy, 4

March 18, 2010 | 10:34 pm
A parolee and documented gang member was sentenced Thursday to 93 years to life in state prison for the 2009 slaying of a 4-year-old boy in Echo Park.

Roberto Lopez Howard Astorga, 26, was convicted in February of the killing of Roberto Lopez Jr, who was hit by a stray bullet as he walked with his sister and cousins to a park in the 1200 block of Court Street, prosecutors said.

Astorga had intended to shoot a rival gang member, police said.

The crime sparked community outrage. More than 500 people attended Roberto's funeral, where Cardinal Roger M. Mahony conducted a Mass in Spanish.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: A photo of Roberto Lopez Jr. that was part of a memorial erected at the site where he was killed. Credit: Lopez family