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Two men convicted in 2012 killing

Two members of a Whittier gang on Sept. 4 were found guilty of murder in a 2012 killing, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

The jury deliberated less than a day before convicting Eudiel Eddie Lopez, 21, of first-degree murder, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Brock Lunsford. Lopez’s co-defendant, Daniel Cesar Stopani, 20, was found guilty of second-degree murder, Lunsford said.

Jurors also found true gun and gang allegations against the defendants, the prosecutor said.

Michael Soto, 17, was shot and killed Mar. 26, 2012, in the 9100 block of Painter Avenue in South Whittier, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.

Lunsford said that around noon, the defendants approached Soto near the intersection of Painter Avenue and Mulberry Drive. Stopani punched Soto and then Lopez shot him multiple times.

Soto was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at 12:51 p.m.

Lopez was arrested later that day in Whittier. Nearly a year later, Stopani was arrested in connection with the killing.

Lopez and Stopani are expected back in court Sept. 18 for sentencing.

-- Maloy Moore

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