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San Diego gang member is convicted in fatal shooting of two women coming home from church

June 17, 2011 |  5:58 pm

A 37-year-old gang member was convicted Friday of a 2003 shooting in San Diego that killed two women on their way home from church and wounded a 7-year-old boy.

Carol Waites, 45, and Sharen Burton, 32, had attended New Year's Eve midnight services at True Faith Missionary Baptist Church when they stopped at Dr. J's liquor store at 1 a.m. to buy a fire log. Waites' nephew and granddaughter were with them.

Just as Waites and Burton got to the store, gunfire involving eight to 12 rival gang members broke out. Waites and Burton were killed in the crossfire. Both were shot in the head and back.

Waites' nephew was struck six times as he shielded Waites' 2-year-old granddaughter. The toddler was unharmed.

There were no immediate arrests. But in May 2009, gang member James Carter was indicted.

After deliberations that lasted a week, a San Diego County Superior Court jury convicted Carter on two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder and one count of conspiracy. He faces multiple life terms in prison when sentenced.

In the months before the Dr. J's shootout, the two gangs were responsible for six killings, said Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis.


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--Tony Perry in San Diego