A 24-year-old man was sentenced Friday to 16 years to life in prison for fatally stabbing a 12-year-old “tagging crew” rival during a fight outside an Anaheim junior high school.
Bryan Ocampo, who was 18 years old at the time of the June 15, 2011, killing of Juan Martinez Jr. outside Sycamore Junior High School, was convicted in December of second-degree murder.
At the time of the killing, Ocampo was 5 inches taller and weighed 65 more pounds than the victim, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Herrera.
“`Die, die, die.’ Those were the words the defendant used as he stabbed 12-year-old Juan Martinez outside his school once, twice and then a third time,” Herrera said in her opening statement of the trial.
The fatal wound was to the chest, which punctured the boy’s lung and heart, the prosecutor said.
According to Herrera, the defendant and victim associated with rival gangs of graffiti vandals.
At the end of classes on the final day before summer break, Ocampo walked over to the school, which was close to his apartment, she said. At 2:30 p.m., with kids streaming out of the school, “he sought out” the victim and confronted him as the boy started walking home, Herrera said.
The defendant asked the boy, “Do you write?” which is a tagging crew challenge, and the victim replied, “Yeah,” as he shouted out the name of the crew he tagged for, Herrera told the jury.
It started as a fistfight, with witnesses giving differing accounts of who shoved the other first, Herrera said. Ocampo then pulled out a weapon, which could have been a kitchen knife, the prosecutor said.
The boy ran across the street, but quickly collapsed, Herrera said. The defendant initially tried to pursue the victim, but then stopped, yelled something and ran away, Herrera said.
Afterward, Ocampo pleaded with a friend who witnessed the stabbing to delete text messages they exchanged prior to the deadly attack, Herrera said. Investigators were later able to recover the trashed messages, she said.
— City News Service
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