A gang member convicted of two shootings in Lennox that occurred about three hours apart — including one that left a man dead and his wife seriously wounded — was sentenced Friday to 100 years to life in state prison.
Samisoni Ilifeleti Lauaki, 22, was one of five defendants convicted last Sept. 27 of first-degree murder for the Nov. 9, 2015, slaying of Kenneth Campos, 37, and the attempted murder of his wife, wounded as the homeless couple was at the back door of a doughnut shop to pick up day-old doughnuts from a storekeeper willing to help them.
The downtown Los Angeles jury also found Lauaki and the other gang members guilty of the attempted murder of another man, shot and wounded about three hours earlier the same day, along with a conspiracy charge.
Jurors acquitted Lauaki of the Oct. 17, 2015, killing of Adalberto Salcedo III, 15, in Carson.
Co-defendants Lebanon Fifita, 44, and Otoniel Ventura-Leon, 29, were sentenced, respectively, to 106 years to life in state prison and 80 years to life in state prison. Two other men, Calvin Leonard Tonga, 27; and Fonuamana Ofeina Fuahala, 26, are awaiting sentencing.
A sixth gang member, Taniela Fonoifua, 26, was convicted of Salcedo’s killing and the Oct. 6, 2015, slaying of Sheila Gomez, 40, in Lennox, 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.
The jury 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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