Gang member convicted in baseball-bat beating death
A Santa Ana gang member known on the streets as "Slugger" was convicted Monday of beating a rival gang member to death with a baseball bat and stabbing him in the chest.
Mark Anthony Figueroa, 31, of Fullerton was found guilty of second-degree murder, street terrorism and sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity.
Authorities said that Victor Hernandez and two friends were leaving a Walgreens in Fullerton when they were surrounded by as many as seven gang members, including Figueroa. Hernandez, also identified as a gang member, had been released from jail 10 days earlier, authorities said.
The two groups got into a verbal exchange before Hernandez was taken aside, police said. Figueroa then went to his car, pulled out a baseball bat, returned to the scene and began beating Hernandez, whose friends were able to escape.
Figueroa then grabbed a knife and stabbed Hernandez in the chest, police said, a wound that punctured his heart.
Authorities said Figueroa has a 2004 conviction for criminal threats and a 1999 conviction for felony gang vandalism. He faces a maximum 30 years to life in prison when sentenced Jan. 20.
-- Angel Jennings