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Times coverage: Gang members stand trial for racially motivated killings in Harbor Gateway

Photo: Cheryl Greene, 14, was killed Dec. 15 as she walked along Harvard Boulevard. Credit: Genaro MolinaTwo 204th Street gang members are standing trial for the alleged racially motivated shooting death of a teenage girl and the stabbing of a potential witness.

Prosecutors in court Wednesday said Cheryl Green, a 14-year-old black girl, was hanging out with friends on Dec. 15, 2000 in a driveway in the 20000 block of South Harvard Boulevard in Harbor Gateway when Jonathan Fajardo, 22, walked up and started shooting at the crowd. Cheryl was killed. Three other people were shot but survived their injuries.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Gretchen Ford told jurors that the ambush was motivated by a confrontation Fajardo had with a black man at a nearby market. When Fajardo and fellow gang members approached the man in his car, he revealed a gun. The gang members, who were unarmed, fled the area.

Angry over the encounter, Fajardo later shot at Green and her friends because they were black, Ford said.

Photo: Jonathan Fajardo is accused of killing Cheryl Green, 14, on Dec. 15, 2006. Credit: LASDPerhaps what is most confounding about the motivation behind the shooting is the fact that Fajardo is half Mexican and half black. His father is Creole, whose parents were from Belize.

During the homicide investigation, police believed the 204th Street gang was connected with Green's death due to prior shootings gang members committed targeting blacks. Police served a search warrant for the apartment of Christopher Ash, a 204th Street member. Others in the gang believed he might have snitched to the police about Green's death, officials said, and lured him into a garage where he was fatally stabbed.

Fajardo and Daniel Aguilar, a 23-year-old Latino, have been charged with Ash's death.

Times reporter Victoria Kim has more on the story: Racial hatred blamed in girl's slaying in Harbor Gateway area

Upper photo: Cheryl Green. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Lower photo: Jonathan Fajardo. Credit: Los Angeles Police Department

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