A state appeals court panel Wednesday upheld the convictions of two Los Angeles women for a liquor store clerk’s shooting death during an attempted robbery in North Hollywood.
Rosa Manuela Barrientos, now 28, and Maria Michelle Inzunza, now 29, were found guilty in August 2018 of one count each of first-degree murder and attempted robbery stemming from the Sept. 24, 2016, killing of Mohammed Kalam, 61, who was shot in the head at A&D Liquor Mart at Sherman Way and Bellaire Avenue.
Jurors also found true the special circumstance allegation of murder during the commission of an attempted robbery, along with an allegation that Barrientos killed the victim by personally and intentionally discharging a handgun.
“Our review of the record shows Barrientos and Inzunza faced what the prosecutor called `a mountain of evidence,”’ the three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal wrote in its 37-page ruling.
The appellate court justices noted that the most damaging pieces of evidence against the two were the surveillance video from A&D Liquor Mart and latent fingerprints that were lifted from a note handed to the clerk that demanded money from the cash register and threatened that he would otherwise be killed.
Customers and neighboring business operators said Kalam, a native of Bangladesh, had worked the late shift at the liquor store for many years.
Barrientos and Inzunza were arrested by Los Angeles police three days after the shooting.
The two were sentenced in August 2019 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
The appellate court panel ordered the two to be re-sentenced on the attempted robbery count, but that is not expected to affect their sentences.
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