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.
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Coastal rail closures could complicate the commute for the thousands of people expected at Women's Marches set for downtown San Diego and San Marcos Saturday, though additional transit options are being made available.
A man arrested in the doctor's lounge at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa after claiming to be an anesthesiologist pleaded not guilty Friday to a felony charge of treating the sick without a certificate.
People who bought new homes in Otay Ranch's Village of Escaya can start moving in Friday - later than planned but after the developer took steps to address methane found at the site.
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Unicorn Fest is sure to be a blast. There will be lots of vendors selling unicorn themed food, drinks, treats, clothing, accessories, and performers that are sure to entertain.
He's known for several of his hilarious roles in films like 'Dumb and Dumber', 'Something About Mary', and 'Half Baked'. Harland Williams is in town this weekend at American Comedy in the Gaslamp.
An active duty member of the Military who started a mobile app that is like craig's list for the military!