A heavily tattooed founding member of a Montebello-based gang “kill squad” was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the execution-style killings of two rival gang members.
In sentencing 31-year-old Jimmy Valenzuela, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James R. Dabney called the killings “unprovoked” and “senseless.”
Valenzuela, with tattoos across his face and neck, was convicted Sept. 26 of two counts of first-degree murder for the slayings of 22-year-old Joe Anthony Alvarado on Dec. 22, 2007, and Jimmy Jimenez, 29, on July 24, 2010. Both were gunned down in Montebello.
Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder to further the activities of a criminal street gang, along with gun allegations.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office had opted earlier not to seek the death penalty against Valenzuela.
He was arrested in 2012 as a result of a joint investigation by the Montebello Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Attorney’s Office and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office that sought to close dozens of unsolved gang homicides.
Authorities said Valenzuela was a key member of his gang’s “kill squad,” responsible for enforcing the gang’s territory and eliminating its enemies.
–City News Service
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