Two men were sentenced today for violent robberies that stretched throughout LA County and reached into Long Beach between December 2013 and January 2014, including one murder at a gas station in Highland Park.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta called 22-year-old Rasheen Childs and 21-year-old Bryant S. Moore “serial robbers” for the hold-ups they committed throughout the LA area.
The judge found that Childs gunned down 31-year-old Gonzalo Garcia as the victim ran away during an attempted robbery at a 7-Eleven store in Highland Park on December 22, 2013. He said the “crime spree did not stop” after Garcia’s killing.
Jeffrey Brodey, Moore’s attorney, said his client “feels terrible about the loss that the family suffered” when addressing the victim’s family.
The lawyer for the defense objected to the life sentence on behalf of his client, but the judge noted the term was mandated by the State Legislature.
Elizabeth Duenas, Garcia’s cousin, told reporters nothing would ever be the same again, due to Garcia’s murder. Garcia had moved to the United States to support his family and was sent back to Mexico in a casket.
“He had not seen his parents for 14 years,” she said.
Childs and Moore were convicted of first-degree murder and attempted robbery in connection with Garcia’s killing on February 23. Jurors found the special circumstance allegation true that Garcia was slain during the commission of an attempted robbery.
Additionally, the same jury, composed of seven women and five men, found Childs guilty of 18 counts of second-degree robbery and one count of false imprisonment by violence.
The robberies occurred in the cities of Gardena, Los Angeles, Carson and Long Beach, said Deputy District Attorney Robert Song.
Additionally, Moore was convicted of 10 counts of second-degree robbery and one count of false imprisonment by violence. Another 104 years and eight months were tacked on to the life sentence for Childs and 19 years for Moore.
Eric Tyrone Carter, 24, was the third defendant involved in the robberies, and was convicted in February by a separate jury of seven counts of second-degree robbery for his involvement in some of the hold-ups. He was sentenced to nearly 40 years in state prison.