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Hitman convicted in Fountain Valley machete attack

November 1, 2012 |  7:27 pm

Antonio Ortega booking photoAn Orange County man hired as a hitman to kill the husband of a friend's lover was convicted Thursday of attacking a man with a machete in an alleyway, leaving him with a fractured skull and severed appendages, law enforcement said.

Antonio Cinco Ortega, 26, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of conspiracy to commit murder and one felony count of mayhem, according to a joint statement from the Orange County district attorney's office and Fountain Valley police.

Two others, Michael Calvin Shores II, 42, and Mary Katheryn Sharpski, 49 -- who had been having an affair --- are also charged and awaiting trial for their part in the attack of Sharpski's husband, Frank Sharpski.

In 2009, Frank and Mary Sharpski were married with three children, but officials said Sharpski was having an affair with Shores, who was a tenant in her family's home for several months. And prosecutors said Mary Sharpski was planning to kill her husband to live with Shores and her three children as a family.

Mary Sharpski and Shores hired Ortega, a good friend of Shores and a Santa Ana resident, and gave him Frank Sharpski's daily routine, prosecutors said. 

In the early morning of March 3, 2009, prosecutors said Ortega attacked Frank Sharpski outside his Fountain Valley home. His skull was fractured and his thumbs and fingers were severed as was part of his nose, in addition to other wounds, prosecutors said. 

Police officers found him shortly before 6 a.m. that morning, on the ground, bleeding severely and semi-conscious. He was taken to a hospital, where officials said he narrowly survived after undergoing several surgeries.

Prosecutors said the conviction came after a retrial; a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict with the three defendants in a 2011 trial. 

Shores and Mary Sharpski -- who each face felony counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and mayhem -- are awaiting trial. Prosecutors said Ortega faces a minimum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison, and is set to be sentenced in January.


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-- Rick Rojas

Photo: Antonio Ortega. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office