A gang member convicted of two shootings less than three hours apart in Lennox, including one that left a man dead and two other people wounded, was sentenced Friday to 106 years to life in state prison.
Lebanon Fifita, 44, was convicted Sept. 27 of first-degree murder for the Nov. 9, 2015, slaying of Kenneth Campos, 37, and the attempted murder of his wife, who was wounded as the homeless couple was at the back of a door to a doughnut shop to pick up day-old doughnuts from a storekeeper willing to help them.
Fifita also was convicted of the attempted murder of another man, who was shot less than three hours earlier that day, along with possession of a firearm by a felon.
Jurors additionally found that Fifita personally discharged a handgun in the attack on Campos and his wife.
He was one of a half-dozen gang members tried for a string of South Bay shootings in late 2015 and early 2016.
Co-defendants Taniela Fonoifua, Fonuamana Ofeina Fuahala, Calvin Leonard Tonga, all 26; Samisoni Ilifeti Lauaki, 21, and Otoniel Ventura-Leon, 29, are awaiting sentencing next year in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
Fonoifua was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for the Oct. 6, 2015, slaying of Sheila Gomez, 40, in Lennox and the Oct. 17, 2015, death of Adalberto Salcedo III, 15, in Carson, along with two counts of attempted murder involving a man with Gomez and a separate shooting on Jan. 26, 2016, in Gardena. Jurors also found Fonoifua guilty of one count of possession of a firearm by a felon and found true allegations that he personally discharged a gun during each of the crimes.
Lauaki was convicted of first-degree murder for Campos’ killing, but acquitted of murder involving Salcedo’s killing. Jurors also found him guilty of two counts of attempted murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.
Fuahala — whom jurors also found to have personally discharged a handgun in the attack on Campos and his wife — was convicted along with Tonga and Ventura-Leon for Campos’ killing.
The three men also were found guilty of two counts each of attempted murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder.
Jurors found true gang allegations against all six men.
Deputy District Attorney Heather Steggell told jurors during the trial that the six defendants are members of a “violent, ruthless criminal street gang” made up primarily of Pacific Islanders who committed a string of shootings in Lennox, Gardena and Carson.
“(They) go out hunting. It’s sport for them,” the prosecutor said in her opening statement.
The prosecutor told jurors that the evidence against the six included wiretapped calls, text messages and cell phone data to pinpoint the defendants’ locations at the time of the murders, telling jurors that the men shared motive and a “hunting mentality.”
Like other gangs, they commit “graffiti, robberies, burglaries, assault with deadly weapons and murder,” but the difference with the defendants’ gang is that they “will shoot anybody,” Steggell told jurors.
Four of the victims were homeless.
Along with the three victims who were killed, four people were wounded in the series of shootings.
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