Photo via Wikimedia Commons.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

Two women were sentenced Friday to lengthy prison terms for their roles in a gang-related shooting that left one man dead and another wounded outside a Westlake district church.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Curtis B. Rappe denied the defense’s motion for a new trial for Janeth Lopez, 25, and Ivy Navarrete, 34, who were convicted last year of one count each of second-degree murder, attempted murder and vandalism.

Lopez — who was described by Deputy District Attorney Robert Rabbani as a gang member who “set this case in motion” — was ordered to serve 40 years to life in state prison.

Navarrete was sentenced to 60 years to life behind bars. Her sentence on the murder count was doubled because she had a prior strike for robbery in 2009.

Navarrete’s attorney, Gary Symonds, objected to his client’s sentence, calling it “cruel and unusual punishment” for someone he described as “not a card-carrying (gang) member,” but an “associate” who had minimal participation in the gang. He told the judge that no other Western country imposes that kind of sentence.

Authorities said Lopez was spray-painting red graffiti on a church wall when she was confronted on Nov. 4, 2012, by one of the parishioners, with Andres Ordonez and another person then coming to the parishioner’s aid.

Co-defendant Pedro Martinez — who was sentenced in March 2015 to 100 years to life in  prison after being convicted of first-degree murder and other charges — fired the shot that struck Ordonez, 25, in the chest outside Iglesia Principe de Paz in the 3000 block of West Beverly Boulevard, authorities said. A second man was wounded.

Authorities said Martinez and Lopez fled in a car driven by Navarrete.

Ordonez’ widow, the granddaughter of the church’s pastor, was three months pregnant at the time of the shooting. She said she was sitting in a car in a nearby parking lot because she wasn’t feeling well, and thought her husband was coming out to check on her when he encountered the tagger.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who was a city councilman at the time, backed a $50,000 reward in the case and called the crime “perhaps one of the most reprehensible acts I’ve seen here in my entire time as a City Council member.”

Lopez and Navarrete are expected to appeal their convictions. Martinez is also appealing his conviction.

—City News Service

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