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Parents of girl, 2 others ordered to stand trial in pimp's killing

The parents of a teenage girl were ordered Wednesday to stand trial for murder in the shooting death of a Compton gang member they believe lured their daughter away from home and became her pimp.

San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Bruce Chan also ordered Lupe Felice Mercado, 38, and Barry L. Gilton, 39, to be tried on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and the discharge of a firearm from an occupied motor vehicle in the June 4 death of Calvin Sneed, 22.

Prosecutors charged that Mercado and Gilton -- who have been dating since middle school and also have three young sons -- conspired to have Sneed shot to death in May in North Hollywood, but that attempt failed.

Their daughter had left home a year earlier. But when the 17-year-old returned to San Francisco in early June with Sneed, prosecutors said, the San Francisco couple tried again, this time with the help of two convicted felons.

On Wednesday, Chan also ordered that Antonio Gilton, a 27-year-old relative of Barry Gilton, and Alfonso Williams, 36, stand trial on the same charges as the couple. In addition, the men will stand trial on a charge of possessing a firearm as a felon.

FBI video, shot during an unrelated investigation, apparently showed that Barry Gilton, Antonio Gilton and Williams met less than an hour before the slaying, authorities said last year. Williams took a .40-caliber handgun from a Chevrolet Tucson at 1:18 a.m., according to authorities, and the men drove off together.

In addition, cellphone records apparently placed the men together near the scene of the killing when the shooting occurred.

The four suspects, who have all pleaded not guilty to the charges, are being held on $2-million bail each. They are scheduled to be arraigned March 27.

ALSO:

Still no verdict in Bell corruption trial; jurors on Day 13

Rapist held in mental hospital must be tried or freed, court says

Drunk driver killed brother, faces manslaughter charges, D.A. says

-- Maria L. La Ganga in San Francisco

 
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