Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Gang Member Convicted of SM Murders Gets Life Sentence


A 25-year-old man convicted of murdering two people in Santa Monica during attempts as a teenager to gun down rival gang members was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Jose Contreras Zapien Jr., was also given a prison term of 95 years to life by Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge George Lomeli.

“His life is characterized by his pride for his gang, but the strongest and most despicable trait he has is irreverence for human life,” said L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. Andrew Cooper.

After a two-week trial, a jury in November deliberated only five hours before finding Zapien guilty of two counts of murder, 12 counts of attempted murder and several special firearms and gang allegations.


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