The killer of an 18-year-old man who was stabbed to death while playing handball at Reseda’s Cleveland High School in 2013 was resentenced Monday as a juvenile — which may mean his release from confinement is imminent.
Judge Morton Rochman ruled that 25-year-old Anthony Carpio — who was a 16-year-old gang member when he pulled a knife on Kevin Orellana and stabbed him multiple times — would be subject to a maximum confinement of 16 years to life.
That mirrors Carpio’s original sentence, but as a juvenile, Carpio would be under the jurisdiction of the Division of Juvenile Justice, which typically releases offenders at the age of 25.
A retired deputy district attorney and pro bono victims’ rights lawyer representing Orellana’s family told City News Service, “He will likely be out very soon.”
As an adult, Carpio wouldn’t have been eligible for parole earlier than 2026, according to state prison records.
Carpio, of Panorama City, and his older brother, Michael Steve Carpio of Pacoima — both gang members — were convicted on Oct. 31, 2015, of second-degree murder in Orellana’s killing.
Michael, who was an adult at the time of the April 24, 2013, killing and was apparently unarmed during the attack, was sentenced to 15 years to life behind bars.
According to trial testimony, the Carpio brothers approached Orellana — who was not a gang member — as he played handball and issued a gang challenge.
A lawyer for the victim’s family said the older brother was fighting Orellana when Anthony approached from behind and stabbed the victim 10 times in the head, neck and upper body.
Under Proposition 57, passed in 2016, prosecutors must seek the court’s approval to try minors as adults. Attorneys for Anthony Carpio filed a writ of habeas corpus arguing that he should have originally been convicted as a juvenile offender.
Last year, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Martin Herscovitz — who presided over the Carpio trial — granted Anthony a transfer hearing in juvenile court to determine whether he should have been treated as a juvenile or an adult.
Last week, however, Rochman declined to hold such a hearing, instead ruling outright that the case would be handled in juvenile court.
Cady filed a motion seeking to uphold Herscovitz’ original order for a hearing and accused the prosecution last week of working in tandem with defense attorneys.
She said the resentencing was driven by District Attorney George Gascón’s youth justice policy, which dictates that minors will no longer be tried in adult court.
Orellana’s brother read a statement from his family in court Monday.
“Anthony Carpio murdered my brother Kevin. He murdered my mom and dad’s son. He murdered my sister’s big brother. I hope that every day he is haunted by the knowledge that he took away someone so precious to us,” his brother said.
Now, he and his family are now being forced to relive this loss, he said, taking aim at the District Attorney’s Office.
“Many years ago, the justice system did what it was intended to do and put this murderer away for the crime he committed,” the brother said. “While I do understand that everyone is entitled to be defended, I will never understand the motivation of `The People,’ who no longer represent the people, for not caring about all of us that live in Los Angeles.
“If this murderer is released because of some blanket `Youth Justice’ policy without serving justice for a crime he committed, I will never understand how Alisa Blair, her management, and you, Judge Rochman, will be able to sleep soundly and calmly every night. I know that my family and I never will.”
Blair is a longtime public defender who is now a special adviser to Gascón on juvenile court cases and diversion. The District Attorney’s Office did not respond to a request for comment on the case last week and failed to immediately respond to a second request Monday.
Michael Carpio has also petitioned the court for reconsideration of his sentence. A hearing is set for July 12.