Lady Justice 3 16-9The head of a robbery-prostitution ring was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a crime spree in which two men were killed and another was wounded in South Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert J. Perry imposed the term on Michael Mosby, who was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder for the April 18, 2014, shooting death of 36-year-old Pedro Rodriguez and the April 23, 2014, killing of 29-year-old William Quezada.

Both slayings occurred near Flower and 47th streets, at the edge of the Vermont Square neighborhood where it borders the Harbor (110) Freeway.

Jurors found true the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder during the commission or attempted commission of a robbery, along with allegations that the 25-year-old defendant personally discharged a handgun during each of the shootings.

Mosby also was convicted of two counts of second-degree robbery of Rodriguez and Quezada, along with one count each of attempted murder, shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and child abuse — stemming from an April 1, 2014, shooting in which a man was wounded — and pimping of a minor 16 years or older.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department also has a hold on Mosby due to a felony complaint filed last October, charging him with the April 8, 2014, gang-related killing of 27-year-old Darryl King-Divens in Moreno Valley.

Co-defendant Mariah Milika Jiles — who was tried along with Mosby in Los Angeles — was found guilty of one count each of attempted murder and shooting at an occupied motor vehicle involving the April 1, 2014, shooting, and child abuse involving her 2-year-old daughter, who was in the van with her at the time. Jiles, 25, was sentenced to a potential life prison term.

Two others who had been charged in the robbery-murders testified at trial in exchange for lesser sentences. Tenise Dominique Taylor is facing 13 years and four months in state prison, while Marina Judkins is expected to be sentenced to 11 years behind bars.

Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila told jurors that the killings of Rodriguez and Quezada were “cold” and “calculated.”

The prosecutor said Rodriguez picked up Judkins, who was working as a prostitute, and parked in the area. At a signal from Judkins, Mosby pulled his car in front of Rodriguez’s delivery van to block it and then “shoots him straight in the chest,” Avila said.

Mosby then took Rodriguez’s wallet and some paperwork, which was found in Mosby’s car along with the murder weapon when he was arrested, the prosecutor said.

Though the killing occurred around midnight, prosecutors said it was seven hours before the shooting was reported and Rodriguez’s body was found.

Five days later, “Mosby did the same thing,” the prosecutor said.

Quezada picked up Judkins and “tries to negotiate for sex,” Avila said.

Mosby jumped into Quezada’s car and fired three bullets in the victim’s back as Quezada jumped out of the driver’s side window and then crawled and collapsed in front of a nearby house, the prosecutor said.

Mosby told Taylor, who was waiting in another car, to grab Quezada’s wallet, Avila said.

The prosecutor told jurors that Mosby didn’t know either man and killed them because they wouldn’t give him the money he demanded.

Mosby’s attorney, Michael Adelson, acknowledged that his client intended to kill the two men, but argued that it amounted to second-degree murder.

“There’s no question that Mr. Mosby intended to kill. There’s a great question as to whether he premeditated or deliberated,” the defense lawyer told jurors.

Mosby’s attorney argued that his client had no plan to rob Rodriguez or Quezada and confronted them because they were “gaming his prostitute,” leading to arguments over money.

The defense attorney said his client was using methamphetamine five times a week and had smoked all night before encountering Rodriguez. The meth made Mosby “angrier and more violent,” Adelson said, arguing that the murders were “rash, impulsive … not premeditated and deliberated.”

—City News Service

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