Hired Hitman Sentenced to 28 Years in Prison for Killing 17-Year-Old Wife at La Mirada Park in 1992

A man has been sentenced to prison for the 1992 fatal shooting of a young mother during a staged robbery at a La Mirada park in 1992, officials announced.

Jurors convicted Leon Martinez, of Yucaipa, in March 2015 of the first-degree murder of 17-year-old Vicki Ghonim. He was sentenced to 28 years to life in state prison, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a released statement on Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Vicki Ghonim was in a car at Creek Park in La Mirada with her infant son and husband, 44-year-old Morrad Ghonim, when a man walked up to their car, tried to rob them and fatally shot her.

Vicki Ghonim’s killing went unsolved for nearly two decades until 2009 when a DNA hit linked Martinez to the crime.

Morrad Ghonim at his trial in a Norwalk court earlier in 2016. (Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

During Martinez’s trial, evidence showed Morrad Ghonim paid Martinez $500 to stage a robbery and kill his wife Vicki Ghonim.

Morrad Ghonim was convicted or first-degree murder in his wife’s killing and in April 2015 was sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors said Martinez was “further implicated in the killing” by his ex-girlfriend who knew details about the murder-for-hire plot.

Martinez’s wife, Evangelina, was also charged in the case on one count of dissuading a witness for attempting to discourage the ex-girlfriend from testifying about information she allegedly knew, the release stated. She was sentenced to three years of summary probation.