Gang member sentenced to five life terms for aggravated murders
An 18th Street gang member convicted in five aggravated murders was sentenced Friday to five consecutive life terms, the Los Angeles district attorney's office said.
William Vasquez, 31, was ordered to serve life without the possibility of parole plus 156 years by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler.
A jury convicted Vasquez of five counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances, including use of firearms and actions in furtherance of a criminal street gang.
Vasquez was convicted of committing the five murders and other crimes between 2002 and 2005, beginning with the fatal shooting of Culver City gang member Alex Haro at a Los Angeles birthday party.
Vasquez killed another rival gang member, Kevin Walton, on Dec. 3, 2003, minutes after shooting another gang foe in the arm, according to district attorney's spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales.
On March 5, 2005, Vasquez and three accomplices fired 26 rounds at two unarmed men at Santa Monica Moose Lodge, killing Jonathan Hernandez, 19, and Hector Bonilla, 25, Davila-Morales said.
The fifth murder for which Vasquez was convicted occurred on Sept. 24, 2005, when he and other gang members drove by a house party and attacked 24-year-old Jesse Becerra.
Vasquez jumped out of the car after the victim had been felled by a gunshot and fired numerous shots point-blank into the man's head and body, the statement from the prosecutor's office said.
-- Carol J. Williams