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3 Sentenced To Life In Prison In Murder Of NoHo Man Defending Grandfather

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VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) — Three men convicted of fatally shooting a 24-year-old North Hollywood man who came to his grandfather’s aid in a robbery were sentenced Monday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Evin Adonis Ortiz, 25; Rene Ubaldo Ramirez, 32; and Edwin Alexander Bonilla, 30, were convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Danilo Estuerdo Morales.

According to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Ortiz, Ramirez and Bonilla were in the process of robbing Morales’ then-68-year-old grandfather, Manuel Florez, outside a relative’s home in the 8100 block of Coldwater Canyon Avenue on Jan. 9, 2012, when Morales heard the commotion and rushed out to help him.

Prosecutors told jurors Morales was approaching the men in a car when Ramirez pulled out a gun and shot the victim once in the head. One of the defendants also shot at Florez but missed, Deputy District Attorney Scott Marcus said.

On November 1, 2013, the three were found guilty of the murder of Morales and the attempted murder and second-degree robbery of his grandfather.

On Monday, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Greg Dohi of the Van Nuys Branch gave the three men a second life sentence each for the attempted murder of Florez, now 70.

Ramirez also received an additional 25 years to life sentence for firing the gun that killed Morales.

“These people destroyed my life completely,” Florez told the court through an interpreter Monday.

“My only comfort is visiting my son’s grave and kissing his headstone,” Morales’ mother said.

Ramirez also spoke through an interpreter before his sentence was delivered.

“First of all, I’m innocent of all the charges I’ve been charged with,” he said, adding, “I don’t owe anything to anyone.”

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department North Hollywood Division.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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