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Gang member convicted in baseball-bat beating death

December 5, 2011 |  6:34 pm

A Santa Ana gang member known on the streets as "Slugger" was convicted Monday of beating a rival gang member to death with a baseball bat and stabbing him in the chest.

Mark Anthony Figueroa, 31, of Fullerton was found guilty of second-degree murder, street terrorism and sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. 

Authorities said that Victor Hernandez and two friends were leaving a Walgreens in Fullerton when they were surrounded by as many as seven gang members, including Figueroa.  Hernandez, also identified as a gang member, had been released from jail 10 days earlier, authorities said.

The two groups got into a verbal exchange before Hernandez was taken aside, police said. Figueroa then went to his car, pulled out a baseball bat, returned to the scene and began beating Hernandez, whose friends were able to escape.

Figueroa then grabbed a knife and stabbed Hernandez in the chest, police said, a wound that punctured his heart.

Authorities said Figueroa has a 2004 conviction for criminal threats and a 1999 conviction for felony gang vandalism.  He faces a maximum 30 years to life in prison when sentenced Jan. 20. 


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-- Angel Jennings