Two Santa Barbara gang members were given prison sentences Tuesday in the brutal 2010 murder of a store clerk, a crime the judge presiding over the hearing called “vicious” and “unprovoked.”
George Ied, 36, was attacked in October 2010 while walking to his Eastside home from a Milpas liquor store where he worked. Just blocks from his home, Ied, who had no gang affiliation, was intercepted by gang members and beaten to death, even though prosecutors said he not done anything to provoke the beating.
Ied died in the hospital after being on life support for several days.
In the following weeks, four arrests were made in the case, including brothers Ismael and Miguel Parra, Michael Cardenas and Steven Santana. Santana pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and became a witness for the prosecution. Ismael Parra also testified during the trial.
After jurors deliberated for six days, looking over 300 exhibits in the case, they found defendants Cardenas and Ismael Parra guilty of second-degree murder in the case, as well as guilty of battery and street terrorism.
The jury was deadlocked, 10-2, on charges against Miguel Parra, who took a plea deal in May. He’ll be sentenced in court next week, and faces a maximum sentence of 21 years in state prison.
On Tuesday, all four defendants appeared in court, and Cardenas and Ismael Parra faced Judge Brian Hill to hear their sentences handed down.
Though both men were sentenced to 15 years to life for second-degree murder, Hill made note of Cardenas’ history as a violent offender.
Known as “Psycho Mike” in gang circles, Cardenas initiated the attack on Ied, prosecutors said, and was linked to several similar assaults in the Eastside neighborhood.
Because of his history, Hill said, Cardenas must serve an additional six years, three for one count of street terrorism and three for battery for the benefit of a criminal street gang, and will not be allowed to serve that additional time concurrent with his murder sentence.
Cardenas has been in custody since Oct. 12, 2010, so he’ll have 1,029 actual days served as a credit toward his sentence.
As part of his sentence, Cardenas must pay more than $30,000 in restitution, including $10,000 into a victim compensation board fund.
Hill called the crime “vicious” and “unprovoked.”
“George Ied was attacked for no reason whatsoever,” he told the courtroom.
Hill opined that a number of similar, gang-related crimes have passed through his courtroom over the years.
“We’re losing part of a generation of young Hispanic males,” he said, adding that why it’s happening is complex and doesn’t have a simple answer. “[This crime] is a tragedy for the Ied family as well as the Cardenas family, who will lose their family member to incarceration for an extended period of time.”
Hill also denied the motion for a new trial for Parra, but said he could serve his additional time for battery and street terrorism concurrently, unlike Cardenas.
“I do think that Cardenas was the instigator in the events that led to Mr. Ied’s death,” the judge said.
Parra was also sentenced to 15 years to life on Tuesday, and will also pay $30,000 in restitution.
He has served 1,031 days in jail that will go toward his total sentence, Hill said.