Lady Justice 3 16-9

A 25-year-old man who gunned down a high school football player during a robbery at a party in Whittier was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Ismael Cardona was found guilty last July of first-degree murder for the April 3, 2009, killing of Paul Jaurequi, a 17-year-old Whittier High School football player, according to Deputy District Attorney Jose Gonzalez.

Jurors also found true a special circumstance allegation that the teen was killed during the commission of a robbery or attempted robbery, along with convicting Cardona of an attempted murder charge involving another 17-year-old boy who was struck by gunfire but survived.

The shooting occurred at a party filled with teenagers in the 9800 block of Calmada Avenue.

Some witnesses said Cardona approached Jaurequi with a gun and demanded money, with the victim resisting and using a pocketknife to stab Cardona a few times before the defendant pushed him away and shot him, according to the prosecutor.

Cardona — who was arrested about six months later — testified that he had fired in self-defense and denied being involved in a robbery.

City News Service

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