A gang member was convicted of murder and sentenced Monday to 100 years to life in prison after the 2016 shooting of a 19-year-old Marine from Camp Pendleton and a co-defendant was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison.
In May, a jury found Oscar Aguilar, 28 and Esau Rios, 31 guilty each on one count of first-degree murder and one count of firing on an occupied motor vehicle, ABC News reported. Lance Cpl Carlos Segovia-Lopez, was on leave from Camp Pendleton and was found slumped over his steering wheel having been shot inside his car in South Los Angeles.
The jury also determined allegations that Segovia-Lopez’s killing was committed in association with a criminal street gang.
Though he was taken to a hospital, Segovia-Lopez was taken off life support three days later after doctors told his family they could not save him.
Los Angeles police arrested Aguilar and Rios almost two months after Segovia-Lopez’s death.
Sandra Lopez Juarez, the victim’s mother, fought through tears as she read a statement before the court.
“I’ve been a single mother, so in my house, he was a father figure for my kids, a great support for me,” Lopez Jaurez said.
Lopez Jaurez described how her son volunteered to tutor children and worked with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. She spoke of the hundreds of visitors who came to the hospital to pray for Segovia-Lopez while he was on life support.
“They all had a story to tell about him,” she said.
Segovia-Lopez also volunteered his time with LA on Cloud 9, a nonprofit aimed at assisting the homeless community.
For Carlos, that was not some class of other people. That was his brother,” Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said at an October 2016 memorial for Segovia-Lopez.
Claudia Perez, the founder of LA on Cloud 9 requested the judge give Aguilar and Rios the maximum sentence.
“You will never spend enough years in prison to make up for the life you took,” Perez said to the defendants.
Before handing down the sentence, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy argued against a defense sentencing memo which cited provocation by the victim.
Segovia-Lopez reportedly confronted Aguilar and Rios when he believed the two were tampering with a vehicle.
Jurors determined that Aguilar fired the shot and additionally found Aguilar guilty on a count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
According to testimony, the two defendants were drinking and, at Rios’ direction, Aguilar shot Segovia-Lopez in the head.
“There’s no evidence that Carlos tried to hurt anybody,” Kennedy said.
Rios’ attorney fought for more lenient sentencing, arguing for a 25-year sentence as Rios had no prior criminal record and was drunk when the victim was shot.
Kennedy responded with the fact that Rios encouraged his co-defendant to pull the trigger and Deputy District Attorney Carmelia Mejia argued Rios was with a known gang member and continued to profess his gang connections after he was placed in jail.
Another co-defendant Ricky Valente, 21, plead no contest as an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to three years probation.