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Judge sentences California gang member to death for 2013 slayings of rivals

December 3, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Judge sentences California gang member to death for 2013 slayings of rivals

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On Friday, a judge sentenced a California gang member to the death penalty for murdering three people who, in some form, opposed his gang.

Riverside Superior Court Judge Stephen Gallon ordered Raymond Alex Barrera of San Jacinto to receive the death penalty after a jury recommended a sentence of capital punishment, CBS Los Angeles reported.

The 27-year-old killer was part of San Ja, which is San Jacinto’s oldest street gang. He was convicted in September of a series of murders in 2013 targeting members of a rival group, the so-called “dropouts” who turned their backs on San Ja and became informants.

Barrera first fatally shot “drop out” gang member Juan “Spooks” Perez in that back as he and a friend were going into to a store to purchase beer.

His second victim was alleged police informant Jose “Flaco” Venegas, who was brought to the Soboba Indian Reservation and killed. Barrera had previously cooperated with authorities.

His last victim was Ruben “Toker” Zavala, who was part of the gang Hemet 13, who was engaged in a turf dispute with San Ja.

Barrera’s girlfriend, 24-year-old Tawpash Paillia Durnin, was with him during the slayings. She pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and has been sentenced to 26 years behind bars.

Barrera’s other associate in the slaying of Zavala, then 17-year-old Robert Anthony Hernandez, is still awaiting trial in juvenile court.

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