A Santa Maria judge on Thursday sentenced three Lompoc gang members to life in prison for their involvement in a January 2010 slaying.
Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rick Brown sentenced Gregory Wallace, 34, to life in prison without the possibility of parole, Christopher Jaime, 19, to 56 years to life and Roberto Castaneda, 19, to 50 years to life, according to Stephen Foley, chief deputy district attorney for Santa Barbara County.
A jury convicted the three of first-degree murder and other charges on March 29.
That decision followed a two-month trial in which prosecutors accused Wallace of ordering the two teens to kill Isidro Madera, 38, for not paying “taxes” to the gang from his drug sale profits.
Madera was fatally shot in a carport near his apartment complex on North K Street.
Castaneda and Jaime were juveniles at the time, but were charged as adults.
The jury also found Wallace, Castaneda and Jaime guilty of a gang allegation with the first-degree murder charge and using a firearm causing death.
Wallace was found guilty of committing murder for financial gain and committing murder while an active participant of a criminal street gang, being a felon in possession of a gun, possession of a controlled substance and making criminal threats to a witness.
Jaime was found guilty of possession of a controlled substance.
“The outcome is extremely gratifying,” Foley said. “It’s the product of a lot of work by a lot of people. This was an organized gang hit on Mr. Madera because he refused to pay gang taxes. It was a brutal murder, and the punishment fits the crime.”
Eight defendants have been charged in connection with Madera’s murder, Foley said.
He said Francisco Vargas is expected to be sentenced next Thursday to 15 years to life for second-degree murder, Joshua Lemen is expected to receive 22 years in prison at sentencing July 18, David Yang admitted to second-degree murder in juvenile court, Ray Cardoza admitted to first-degree murder in juvenile court, and Sonia Silva pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact, with a gang enhancement and was sentenced to 16 months in state prison.