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Jury Recommends Life In Prison For Gang Member In Two Murders

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A jury today recommended that a gang member spend the rest of his life in prison for killing two men, but deadlocked on punishment for three other murders he was convicted of committing last year.

Jurors deliberated about a week before urging Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler to sentence William Vasquez, 31, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the Jan. 27, 2002, murder of Alex Haro
and the Dec. 3, 2003, murder of Kevin Walton, according to Shiara Davila-Morales of the District Attorney’s Office.

The panel deadlocked on recommending execution or life in prison without the possibility of parole for three other murders — the March 5, 2005, killings of Jonathan Hernandez and Hector Bonilla and the Sept. 24, 2005, shooting death of Jesse Becerra.

It was the second time a jury deadlocked in the penalty phase of Vasquez’s trial.

The first jury to hear the case against Vasquez convicted him of the five killings in Los Angeles and Santa Monica over a period of more than three years, but it deadlocked on what punishment to recommend for each of the
murders.

It was unclear if prosecutors would seek another penalty phase of trial for Vasquez.

Vasquez is next due in a downtown courtroom on Jan. 6.

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