SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A gang member convicted of gunning down a rival more than four years ago in southeast San Diego because the victim had supposedly "disrespected" the defendant's gang was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years to life in state prison.
Maurice David Tucker, 23, was convicted in August of first-degree murder and an allegation that the June 9, 2007 killing of 20-year-old Stephen Cleveland was carried out for the benefit of a street gang.
Tucker's conviction came in his second trial. A different jury deadlocked 11-1 for guilt last year, when co-defendant Charles Neal was convicted of second-degree murder.
Before handing down Tucker's sentence, Judge Michael Smyth denied defense motions to dismiss charges and grant a new trial. He also denied a motion to reduce Tucker's murder conviction to manslaughter.
Prosecutor Kristian Trocha told jurors that Cleveland and his friends jumped the defendant and his friends at a Lil Wayne concert on April 28, 2007. Tucker and his gang were upset because Cleveland's gang had disrupted a community celebration at Martin Luther King Park, the prosecutor said.
Tucker and Neal borrowed a green SUV, got dressed in black and decided to go after Cleveland, according to Trocha.
Just before 9 p.m. on June 9, 2007, the green SUV pulled up in front of the victim's home as he was saying goodbye to his girlfriend, the prosecutor said.
Cleveland ran, but a passenger in the SUV got out fired multiple shots at the victim, killing him, Cleveland's girlfriend told police.
After the murder, Tucker talked about killing Cleveland, an informant told police. According to the informant, Tucker said Neal initially confronted the victim but was "taking too long," so Tucker got out and shot Cleveland in the neck. The victim was actually shot in the upper body.
Defense attorney Wil Rumble told jurors that his client was not at the crime scene and prosecutors didn't have any physical evidence tying Tucker to the murder.
Two San Diego police officers were shot and wounded in a standoff at a College Area condominium that left the suspect dead late Saturday night.
Hundreds of statewide faith leaders will march Saturday afternoon to the Otay Mesa Detention Center, where they will protest immigration policies that separated more than 2,300 children from their parents.
A 325-acre blaze burning at Camp Pendleton Saturday was described as a ``training fire'' by a base official.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County dropped today for the 16th consecutive day, decreasing nine-tenths of a cent to $3.697.
A crash on an Oceanside freeway Saturday morning left two cars on their roofs and sent one person to a hospital, a fire official
Cooler weekend for the County due to a low pressure trough moving through the Great Basin. Weak and shallow marine layer may still be slow to clear.
A stretch of road in National City was shut down briefly after a large crowd took to the streets to celebrate the Mexico national soccer team's 2-1 victory over South Korea today in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The San Diego Humane Society today urged residents to volunteer their homes as foster spaces for the influx of animals typically lost after Fourth of July.
A man was critically injured Friday night when he chased a ball into the street and was hit by a car.
Clayton Richard pitched three-hit ball over six innings for his fourth consecutive win and the San Diego Padres beat the San Francisco Giants 6-2 on Friday night.