A woman known as Eugene’s “gang mom” was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison for arranging the city’s first gang-related slaying.
Mary Louise Thompson, 41, was convicted of aggravated murder last week in the 1994 shooting death of Aaron Iturra, 18. Two other youths earlier pleaded guilty to carrying out the killing.
Iturra, once a close friend of Thompson’s, was shot to death in his sleep. Shortly before he was slain, Iturra had told police that he saw Thompson’s son, Beau Flynn, pull a knife on a boy during a fight.
Prosecutors said that Thompson became enraged at Iturra and pressured two teenagers to carry out the murder before Iturra could testify against her son.
At the time of the murder, Thompson was known as an anti-gang activist. She served on a gang prevention task force and volunteered as a youth mentor.
Eight teenagers testified against Thompson at her trial, and jurors heard hours of taped telephone conversations between Thompson and alleged gang members.
Lane County Circuit Judge Lyle Velure ordered Thompson to serve a life term without the possibility of parole.
Thompson was sentenced to an additional 10-1/2 years in prison for burglary and hindering prosecution.
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