Monday, October 7, 2013

#InTheNews: Gang member gets life in prison in ‘Dead Presidents’ quadruple murder

Congratulations to DDA Denise Yoakum and the Central Gang Unit and all those who worked this case to the very end.

Lori Fowler, San Bernardino SunSAN BERNARDINO >> After nearly 10 months of trying to get a new lawyer or a new trial, convicted killer Froylan Chiprez found out Friday that he will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Chiprez, who was accused of participating in the “Dead Presidents” quadruple slaying in July 2000, was sentenced to four life terms without parole, plus 125 years to life and an additional 31 years.

“He earned every day of this,” said Deputy District Attorney Denise Yoakum, who prosecuted the case.

During Friday’s hearing in San Bernardino Superior Court, Judge William Jefferson Powell said the killings took significant planning and sophistication.

“It’s very rare for a judge to comment on the evidence of the trial,” he said. “This case is one of the most disturbing cases in my career.”
Chiprez was one of the most dangerous defendants he had ever come across, the judge said.
“Life in prison without the possibility of parole is the only way to keep society safe from what I can only describe as a monster,” Powell said.

Defense attorney James Gass said he did not agree with the judge’s description of Chiprez.
“He was always nice to me,” Gass said after the sentencing.

On July 9, 2000, Chiprez was part of a crew who went to a San Bernardino home and opened fire on leaders of local gangs, authorities said.
Their motive, authorities said, was to remove the high-ranking leaders from their positions of power.

Johnny Agudo, 33, and his brother, Gilbert Agudo, 27, as well as Anthony Luna, 23, and his cousin, Marcelino Luna, 19, died. Armondo Villasenor and Michael Velarde were wounded.

Two of the victims were presidents of San Bernardino street gangs Little Counts and Seventh Street, cliques within the West Side Verdugo, which is controlled by a prison gang, prompting some law enforcement circles to dub the case “Dead Presidents.”

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