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Two Others Convicted in
Carson Gas Station Murders


August 21, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Joe Scott, Director of Communications
Sandi Gibbons, Public Information Officer
Jane Robison, News Secretary
Shiara Dávila, Assistant PIO
(213) 974-3525


COMPTON – A 24-year-old Los Angeles man and his teenage co-defendant were convicted of murder today in the 2006 fatal shootings of two gas station employees.

Deputy District Attorney Mia Wood of Compton Branch Office, who took the verdict, said jurors deliberated for eight days before finding Julio Perez guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and guilty of three counts of attempted robbery. The jury found true the allegation that a principal was armed.

Co-defendant Eric Elmo Sanford, 17, of Los Angeles also was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and guilty of two counts of attempted robbery. The jury found true the allegation that a principal was armed, but found not true the allegations that Sanford personally used a firearm, personally inflicted great bodily injury, or personally and intentionally discharged a firearm.

As to both defendants, jurors found not true the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders and deadlocked on a special circumstance allegation of murder during an attempted robbery.

Judge John T. Doyle of Compton Superior Court ordered the defendants back for sentencing on Sept. 18. The defendants each face a life sentence with the possibility of parole.

This was a retrial for Sanford, who was tried earlier this year with a third defendant, Adam Loza, 25. Loza of Los Angeles was convicted May 19 of two counts of first-degree murder and attempted robbery. Jurors deadlocked on a verdict for Sanford at the time. Loza will be sentenced on Aug. 28.

The District Attorney’s office decided not to seek the death penalty against Loza or Perez. Co-defendant Sanford was under the age of 18 when the murders were committed and ineligible for the death penalty. Deputy District Attorneys Marilyn Seymour and Beth Widmark prosecuted the case.

On Nov. 4, 2006, Eduardo Roco, 74, of Carson, and Esther Arteaga, 32, of Wilmington, were shot to death in a pre-dawn attempted robbery of a gas station in Carson. The three defendants were arrested days later and have remained in custody without bail.

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