A member of a prominent Northeast Los Angeles Gang* was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Los Angeles Superior Judge on Tuesday after admitting to the 2008 murder of a County Sheriff's Deputy, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Coen accepted the plea of 28-year-old Carlos Velasquez, who admitted to shooting Sheriff's Deputy Juan Abel Escalante to death in front of his parents Cypress Park home.
From: Gang member gets life in prison for killing L.A. sheriff's deputy
Velasquez was originally charged with capital murder and could have faced the death penalty. He admitted he killed the deputy as he was leaving his parents' Cypress Park home to head to work at the Men's Central Jail.
Escalante was shot in the back of the head as he reached into his car to adjust a child’s car seat.
Deputy Dist. Attys. Phillip Stirling and John Colello say Velasquez wrongly believed he was killing a gang rival and shot the deputy numerous times.
Velasquez was arrested in 2008 following a joint investigation conducted by sheriff's department and the LAPD.
LAPD Northeast Gang Unit Captain Rick Ortiz told Patch that the sentencing of Velasquez meant justice for Escalante's family and fellow officers.
"Justice, sometimes it comes slow, but it still comes," he said.
*Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch does not print the names of local gangs, in an effort to limit their fame and notoriety.