Gang member sentenced for killing 5 at homeless camp
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A gang member who shot five people at a Southern California homeless camp in 2008 has been sentenced to life in prison for murder.
City News Service says 31-year Max Rafael received five life terms without chance of parole on Thursday from a Long Beach judge who called the crime “particularly cruel and vicious.”
Authorities say Rafael and David Ponce killed three men and two women living in a camp near a Long Beach freeway off-ramp.
Police said Ponce killed one man during a feud over drug debts. The other victims were killed to get rid of witnesses.
Ponce also was convicted of kidnapping and killing a man in Lancaster in 2009 for failing to hand over some drug money.
He’ll be sentenced next month.