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
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