Sentencing: 30 years to life for gang-related killing of baby boy
A Panorama City man has been sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for the gang-related killing of an infant in 2009.
On Sept. 27, Andrew Garcia, a 4-month-old Latino baby, was being fed by a family friend in the passenger seat of a car about 1 a.m. when another family friend who was nearby got into an argument with two males on the street, according to a Los Angeles Police Department news release.
At one point, one of the males pulled out a gun and began firing, striking the baby and the two adults, police said.
The child was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he died from a single gunshot wound to the head at 3:45 a.m., coroner's records show. The adults suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Officials later identified Ricardo Hernandez, a 24-year-old Latino, and Alfonzo Landa, an 18-year-old Latino, as the two men who shot Andrew and the family friends. They were arrested more than nine months after the shooting.
Prosecutors said Hernandez was the shooter, while Landa was a person who "allegedly set out to look for rival gang members with Hernandez."
On Oct. 26, 2010, Landa was convicted of attempted carjacking in connection with the assault. However, jurors deadlocked on one count of murder, one count of conspiracy to commit murder, and six counts of attempted murder. The charges were later dismissed at sentencing.
On Jan. 20 of this year, Landa pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in connection with Andrew's death. He also admitted to a gang allegation and pleaded to three counts of attempted murder.
Hernandez is due in court for a pre-trial hearing on March 16 at the Van Nuys Superior Court. He has been charged with one count of murder, one count of conspiracy to commit murder and seven counts of attempted murder with gang and gun-use allegations, officials said.
-- Sarah Ardalani
Upper photo: Andrew Garcia. Credit: Family photo
Lower photo: Ricardo Hernandez. Credit: Department of Motor Vehicles