Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A state appeals court panel Wednesday upheld a gang member’s conviction for first-degree murder for being the get-away driver in a Cypress Park shooting that killed a man holding a toddler, along with the attempted murders of two police officers during a subsequent shootout between police and two other gang members.

A three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected Rafael Carrillo’s contention that there were errors in his Los Angeles Superior Court trial.

Carrillo is serving a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole.

At Carrillo’s March 2014 sentencing, Superior Court Judge Kathleen Kennedy said, “When one considers the factual scenario of this case, it is really horrendous.”

The judge called the Feb. 21, 2008, murder of Marco Salas — who was carrying his girlfriend’s 2-year-old granddaughter — “totally unprovoked,” and said “bullets were flying everywhere” in a gunbattle between two other gang members and police soon afterward.

Carrillo was convicted in December 2013 of Salas’ killing, along with assault with a semiautomatic firearm involving the 2-year-old. He was also found guilty of attempted murder involving the gunbattle between two other gang members and two Los Angeles police officers.

Jurors acquitted him of a second murder charge involving the death of Daniel Leon, who was killed in the shootout with police.

Co-defendant Jose Angel Gomez, now 26, is awaiting trial in the killings of Salas and Leon, in a case in which he could face the death penalty. He is charged separately with killing his cellmate while in jail.

—City News Service

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