Monday, May 12, 2003
C.A. Upholds Conviction in Gang-Related Murder Near South Los Angeles Eatery
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A gang member was properly convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment without possibility of parole, plus 35 years to life, for a shooting three years ago near the El Cholo restaurant in South Los Angeles, this district’s Court of Appeal ruled Friday.
Justice Daniel Curry, writing for Div. Four, said there was more than enough evidence to establish that Glen Anthony Davis shot and killed rival gang member Osvaldo Godinez and that he did so in the course of a felony and for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
A passenger in the victim’s car testified that Godinez was driving southbound on Western Ave. when they saw two African American men hitting a Hispanic. When Godinez stopped the car and demanded an explanation, the men became embroiled in a brief argument over gang affiliations.
When Godinez said he was a member of “Midcity,” the passenger testified, one of the black men shot him twice, and then the two men ran off. The passenger identified Davis as the shooter.
Also called to testify was the sister of the defendant’s longtime girlfriend. She testified that Davis belonged to the “Rolling 20’s Gang.” In a taped pretrial statement, which was admitted into evidence after she denied any memory of talking to Davis about the murder, she said that Davis admitted that he was “jacking”—robbing—the man on the street when Godinez stopped, and that he had shot Godinez.
She also verified that Davis was wearing a beanie that night—which was clearly seen on an El Cholo surveillance video.
Curry, writing Friday for the Court of Appeal, said the evidence was “overwhelming” that Davis shot Godinez and participated in the attempted robbery of the other man.
There was, Curry added, “ample” evidence to back up the robbery-murder and street-gang findings. The contention that the shooting of Godinez was a response to a gang challenge, and had nothing to do with the attempted robbery, “is contradicted by the record,” the justice said, explaining:
“The record reveals appellant and his companion had attacked Ramirez, forcibly removing his jacket, with the goal of taking Ramirez’s money when Godinez interfered and was shot by appellant, a rival gang member. The evidence thus establishes that appellant entertained two concurrent and independent felonious intents, i.e., one to rob Ramirez and the other to kill Godinez, and that the shooting of Godinez occurred during the attempted robbery of Ramirez. Nothing more was necessary....Moreover, the robbery of Ramirez was not over for the purpose of the felony-murder rule.”
The case is People v. Davis, B156579.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company