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Latino gang member sentenced to death in hate-crime killing of two, including 14-year-old Cheryl Green

September 27, 2010 | 12:35 pm

A Los Angeles jury returned a death penalty verdict Monday for a 22-year-old Latino gang member convicted in the hate-crime killing of a 14-year-old black girl and a potential witness in Harbor Gateway.

Jonathan Fajardo, who was 18 at the time of the killings, nonchalantly looked around the courtroom as the verdict was read.

The jury found he should receive death for both of his first-degree murder convictions for the slayings of Cheryl Green and Christopher Ash.

Fajardo was eligible for the death penalty because the jury found true special circumstance allegations, including multiple murder, killing of a witness, committing a hate crime based on race and committing the crime for a gang.

Fajardo was a member of the 204th Street gang, which prosecutors said intimidated and attacked African Americans in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles.

Green was gunned down in December 2006 as she stood on a driveway hanging out with friends when Fajardo walked up and opened fire at the group of young blacks.

Ash was found on a roadside two weeks later, stabbed more than 60 times.

Prosecutors said a group of gang members killed him because they suspected he was cooperating with authorities about Green's death.

Green's mother clutched her hands together tightly as the verdict was read and later wiped away tears.

"Justice was served for my baby," she said afterward. "I feel her here right now."

-- Victoria Kim