Sirens & Gavels

Tattoo leads to murder conviction in LA

In this undated photo released by the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. Anthony Garcia is shown. Garcia, 22, was convicted Wednesday, April 20, 2011, of first-degree murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle. Garcia a Southern California gang member who had a murder storyboard tattooed on his chest was convicted for killing a gang rival. The tattoo detailed the shooting of 23-year-old John Juarez in Pico Rivera on Jan. 23, 2004. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department) ( (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department))
In this undated photo released by the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. Anthony Garcia is shown. Garcia, 22, was convicted Wednesday, April 20, 2011, of first-degree murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle. Garcia a Southern California gang member who had a murder storyboard tattooed on his chest was convicted for killing a gang rival. The tattoo detailed the shooting of 23-year-old John Juarez in Pico Rivera on Jan. 23, 2004. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department) ( (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department))


LOS ANGELES — The process was routine. Los Angeles County Sheriff's homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd was flipping through snapshots of tattooed gang members.

Then one caught his attention.

Inked on the pudgy chest of a young Pico Rivera gangster who had been picked up and released on a minor offense was the scene of a 2004 liquor store slaying that had stumped Lloyd for more than four years.

Each key detail was right there: the Christmas lights that lined the roof of the liquor store where 23-year-old John Juarez was gunned down, the direction his body fell, the bowed street lamp across the way and the street sign — all under the chilling banner of RIVERA KILLS, a reference to the gang Rivera-13.

As if to seal the deal, below the collarbone of the gang member known by the alias "Chopper" was a miniature helicopter raining down bullets on the scene.
 

Read the rest of the story by Robert Faturechi of the Los Angeles times here.




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