VISTA (CNS) - A man who took part in the gang-related shooting deaths of two teenagers in Libby Lake Park in Oceanside was sentenced Tuesday to 20 years in state prison.
Justin Holiday Gibson, 21, pleaded guilty two months ago to voluntary manslaughter for the May 3, 2011, deaths of 14-year-old Sandra Salgado and 16-year-old Fernando Solano. He also admitted gang allegations and being vicariously armed with a firearm.
Kenneth Dwight Hamilton, 36, was also supposed to be sentenced today on the same counts, but Judge Carlos Armour appointed a new lawyer for him. Hamilton will ask that his pleas be withdrawn at a hearing Jan. 21.
Oceanside police found the victims' bodies at the Calle Montecito Street park about 10:30 p.m., while responding to reports of gunfire in the area.
The teens, who relatives said were boyfriend and girlfriend, had no gang ties but were in the wrong place at the wrong time, according to police.
The prosecution said Gibson and Hamilton -- members of a predominately black street gang -- went to the park in rival Hispanic gang territory with 21-year-old AL'C Bejaran the night of the shootings.
Police said Hamilton later confessed he, Gibson and Bejaran were smoking marijuana when Bejaran spotted the victims on a hillside and shot them. Bejaran's then-girlfriend testified that he wanted revenge for an attack on Hamilton days earlier.
Bejaran pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and admitted a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders. He was sentenced last month to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
A fourth gang member, Tyrone Blackmon, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to four years in prison.
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