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Gang member sentenced for killing 15-year-old mistaken as rival

A Santa Ana man who killed a 15-year-old he mistook for a rival gang member was sentenced Friday to life without the possibility of parole plus 70 years, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Guillermo Brambila was 21 when he shot and killed Eric Guerrero on Dec. 11, 2007, in retaliation for the slaying two weeks earlier of a member of Brambila's street gang.

A jury convicted Brambila, now 25, in January of murder, conspiracy, attempted murder, gang membership, carrying a loaded firearm in public and three felony counts of "street terrorism." The sentence of life without parole was enhanced with an additional 70 years by the use of a firearm and for crimes committed to further gang objectives.

On Nov. 27, 2007, Brambila and fellow gang member Jonathon Andrew-Marquez Dizon, 20, confronted a carload of rival gang members in Santa Ana. The ensuing exchange of gunfire inflicted fatal wounds on Dizon.

Two weeks later, Brambila and fellow gang members "drove into a rival gang neighborhood looking for someone to shoot and murder in retaliation" for Dizon's death, said Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County district attorney's office. Brambila spotted Guerrero walking in the neighborhood and shot him in the chest. Police said the 15-year-old was not involved with gangs.

Santa Ana police stopped a car in which Brambila was riding two nights later and captured him after he fled the vehicle and attempted to dump the gun used in Guerrero's killing.


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-- Carol J. Williams


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