A jury deadlocked Monday, forcing a mistrial for a reputed gang member charged in the killing of a 29-year-old man in a Santa Monica alley.
Meliton Lorenzo Lopez, 26, is charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder in the June 11, 2013, shooting that killed Santa Monica resident Gil Verastegui and left another man critically injured.
The jury, which got the case late Thursday afternoon, informed the judge this afternoon that it was deadlocked 6-6.
A motions hearing was set for March 8 at the Airport Courthouse, when the District Attorney’s Office is expected to announce whether it plans to retry the case.
A Feb. 16 sentencing date is set for co-defendant Christopher Chonan Osumi, who pleaded no contest to one count of murder. Prosecutors said Osumi, 22, opened fire on the men in the alley in the 1500 block of Michigan Avenue.
A third man, 35-year-old Noah Jason Farris pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact.
The trio was arrested in West Los Angeles about an hour after the shooting.
–City News Service