Man sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for 2014 Long Beach slaying

A Compton man pleaded no contest Tuesday to first-degree murder for the 2014 shooting death of a man in Long Beach.

Joe Anthony Avila, now 31, was immediately sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison following his plea, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Avila was accused of killing 22-year-old Robert Proano on Feb. 10, 2014. Proano was walking with his girlfriend near the intersection of Artesia Boulevard and Myrtle Avenue when he was confronted. He stumbled to a median after being shot, collapsed and later died, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The motive for the murder was believed to be gang-related, Long Beach police said.

Avila—who had been described by the District Attorney’s Office as the gunman—was arrested a month later along with co-defendant Jonathan Buckner, now 24.

Buckner pleaded no contest in January 2020 to voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 13 years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

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