The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case of a man described by authorities as a founding member of a Montebello-based gang’s “kill squad,” who is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for the execution-style killings of two rival gang members.
A jury in downtown Los Angeles found Jimmy Valenzuela, now 32, guilty in September 2016 of first-degree murder for the slayings of 22-year-old Joe Anthony Alvarado, who was shot to death in his car on Dec. 22, 2007, and Jimmy Jimenez, 29, who was fatally shot 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.
In handing down the life prison sentence in January 2017, Superior Court Judge James R. Dabney called the killings “unprovoked” and “senseless.”
Valenzuela was arrested in 2012 as a result of a joint investigation — involving the Montebello Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Attorney’s Office and the 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 the gang’s “kill squad,” responsible for enforcing the gang’s territory and eliminating its enemies.
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