An ex-con who penned rap lyrics describing details of a killing — but denied any involvement — was sentenced Wednesday to 94 years to life in state prison for the gang-related murder of a father of two who was shot in the back in Redondo Beach.
Superior Court Judge Mark Arnold imposed the term on Erick Julian Ortega, 30, who was convicted June 28 of first-degree murder for the June 21, 2013, shooting death of Bobby Reynolds.
The jury also convicted Ortega of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and found that he committed the crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
Ortega was arrested in May 2014 after authorities got a tip that he had fled to Utah, where he was working as a dishwasher in a restaurant. Ortega’s tattoos, inked across his body, helped identify him to the tipster, who had seen an FBI wanted poster online, according to authorities.
Ortega refused to identify himself when agents from the FBI’s Salt Lake City office showed up with a warrant for his arrest. He was carrying identification bearing his photo with someone else’s name, authorities said.
During a search of the room he had been renting, investigators found rap lyrics describing shooting someone five times in the back and disappearing “like Houdini,” Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Turk said.
Reynolds, 38, was shot four times in the back and suffered a graze wound to the head five days after being asked where he was from, according to the prosecutor.
Ortega, who testified in his own defense, contended that another man committed the crime and that the shooter later told him details about the killing.
–City News Service
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