Man gets death penalty in California homeless camp murders
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A gang member has been sentenced to death for murdering five people at a Southern California homeless camp in 2008 and a separate killing.
City News Service says the penalty imposed Thursday on 37-year-old David Cruz Ponce was recommended by a Los Angeles County Superior Court jury in October.
Two women and three men were found shot to death in November 2008 at a homeless camp in Long Beach. The killings remained unsolved until police announced arrests in 2012 and said the motive was drug debts owed by one victim to Ponce.
Co-defendant Max Eliseo Rafael was also convicted in the camp killings and was sentenced earlier this year to life in prison without possibility of parole.
Ponce was also convicted of murdering a man in Lancaster in 2009.