News Releases

May 7, 2014: Gang Member Sentenced for Attempted Murder in Pico Rivera

Contact: 
Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A gang member was sentenced today to 60 years to life in state prison for shooting a woman in the head at her Pico Rivera home, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Brock Lunsford of the Hardcore Gang Division said Arthur Peter Lerma, 36, was convicted by a jury on April 11 of attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling and possession of a firearm by a felon. Additionally, jurors found true gun and gang allegations.

Lerma’s co-defendant, Michelle Estelle Caldera, 35, was found guilty on April 14 of attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. She is expected to be sentenced May 22 at the Norwalk Courthouse in Department D.

A third defendant, Jose Carlos Trejo, 24, pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon in July 2012. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 15 at the Norwalk Courthouse in Department T.

The prosecutor said on May 19, 2011, the defendants were partying at a motel when Caldera borrowed a car to drive Lerma and Trejo home. During the car ride, Caldera stopped in an alley and the male codefendants exited the vehicle.

The two men approached the window of a home and Lerma yelled out, “Go-Go,” which was the victim’s nickname. The female victim answered and Lerma shot her in the head. She survived her injury. Lerma then went back to the car and Caldera drove off.

Weeks after the incident, authorities apprehended the three defendants at separate times and they were charged in connection with the shooting.

At trial, the prosecutor said Lerma targeted the victim because she told police that he was involved in a robbery. While Lerma was in prison, he sent the victim a letter that said he knew she snitched on him. Furthermore, Lerma said he was going to kill her when he got out, the prosecutor said.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.