Gang member who killed two during 'robbery gone bad' sentenced - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Gang member who killed two during 'robbery gone bad' sentenced to life terms

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A gang member who was a teenager when he shot three people -- two fatally -- in a robbery gone bad nine years ago in City Heights was ordered Friday to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Warren Anthony Rabb, now 25, was convicted last month of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of premeditated attempted murder and a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders.

He was sentenced to a pair of life terms without the possibility of parole, plus 90 years to life in state prison.

Co-defendant Darnell James Butler, 24, pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen vehicle and a gun charge and will be sentenced Feb. 3 to seven years and four months behind bars. The defendants were arrested in 2008.

The night of Jan. 23, 2002, Maroun Khalife, 17, and his pregnant girlfriend pulled up to a home to visit 41-year-old Jerry Rico and sell him a stereo, prosecutors said.

Rico was standing outside the parked car when a silver SUV pulled up alongside Khalife's Honda. Rabb got out of the SUV, spoke briefly with Rico, then shot him several times, said Deputy District Attorney Christine Israel.

The prosecutor said the defendant returned to the crime scene and shot the other two victims before speeding off.

Rico and Khalife -- one of Rabb's rivals -- were killed. Khalife's 17-year-old girlfriend and unborn baby were critically injured. The child survived, but was born prematurely and has lasting injuries, prosecutors said.

Khalife's sister said her sibling was the youngest of three children.

"His life was ripped away at 17," Donya Khalife told the court. "We were devastated. This experience, without a doubt, is a nightmare that never ends."

Judge John Einhorn said the life sentences deserved to be run consecutively.

"These were essentially independent, senseless, violent acts," the judge said.

Speaking to the defendant, he said, "You don't get a free murder."

Einhorn denied a motion for a new trial requested by defense attorney James Weintre, who claimed, among other things, that the jury which convicted Rabb was unduly influenced by the prosecution's gang evidence.

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