News Releases

February 11, 2014: Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Businessman’s Murder

Greg Risling, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A judge today sentenced a man to life in prison for the April 2012 murder and robbery of a businessman in SouthLos Angeles, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ronald H. Rose sentenced Jesus Mendez, 23, to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Jurors convicted Mendez last week of one count each of first-degree murder and second degree robbery in case BA399348. The jury also found true gun allegations.

Prosecutors said Mendez lured and ambushed 27-year-old Jamie Sharif Mohammad Abuawad, who ran a gold buying business, only a block away from where Mendez was living.

Cell phone records introduced into evidence at trial showed Mendez called Abuawad four times on the morning of April 19, 2012, the last coming shortly before the murder.

Abuawad was shot three times with a .380-caliber revolver and Mendez made off with $300 and two cell phones. Mendez dropped the phones that were later found nearby.

Deputy District Attorney Hilary Williams said one of the cell phones that was recovered had a shoe print andmatched what the defendant was wearing at the time of the arrest.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department, Criminal Gang Homicide Division, 77th Squad