A 40-year-old gang member was convicted of fatally shooting a 19-year-old Huntington Beach woman and hiding her body in a cooler, authorities announced on Friday.
Anthony Robert Moreno, 40, was found guilty Thursday of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Moreno was initially arrested after Dawn McEveety, 19, was shot and killed at a residence on Nov. 24, 2015, in the 11900 block of 183rd Street in Artesia, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Moreno armed himself with a gun and fatally shot the Huntington Beach teen inside of the home, which was known as a gang hang out, according to the DA’s office.
McEveety was killed inside the residence’s detached garage, the District Attorney’s Office stated.
Afterward, Moreno placed the body in a cooler and transported her to the Whittier area where she was left inside a stolen vehicle, the DA’s office said.
Sheriff’s Department deputies responded to an abandoned vehicle call on Nov. 29, 2015, to Rivera Road west of Bradwell Avenue, authorities previously stated.
A 1991 Toyota Celica hatchback was discovered with a strong odor that indicated decomposition, authorities said at the time, and a body was found “entombed in a large container” in the car’s rear cargo area.
When he was identified as a suspect in 2016, Moreno was incarcerated in state prison on an unrelated charge.
Described as a documented gang member, he was previously convicted of various firearm charges and driving a stolen jeep.
Jurors determined true a special allegation that the murder was committed to benefit a street gang with the intention to promote their criminal conduct, authorities said.
Additionally, jurors found the 40-year-old to have intentionally shot the rifle which resulted in McEveety’s death.
Moreno faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison and will be sentenced on Aug. 1 in the Foltz Criminal Justice Center in downtown L.A.