A South Los Angeles gang member was found guilty in the 2009 killing of a young father who was targeted for being latino in a retaliatory gang shooting, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a Wednesday news release.
The defendant, Rondale Young, a.k.a. “Pueblo Grump,” 36, a member of the Pueblo Bishop Bloods street gang, and several other armed members, drove into rival gang territory seeking retaliation for a fatal drive-by shooting that killed one of the gang’s members, the DOJ said.
The armed group spotted the victim, Francisco Cornelio, 23, and killed him, prosecutors said.
Cornelio was vacuuming his car when he was shot “at point-blank range” in front of his 2-year-old son, according to the news release.
The father was not affiliated with any gangs, authorities said.
City authorities charged Young with the killing in 2009, but he was later acquitted by a state jury, according to the DOJ.
It is unclear what led to his acquittal.
A 2010 state indictment later charged Young and 44 other gang members and associates with being members of a criminal enterprise that “engaged in drug dealing, firearms trafficking, murder, witness intimidation and armed robbery as part of the gang’s efforts to control and terrorize the Pueblo Del Rio Housing Projects in South Los Angeles,” DOJ Public Information Officer Ciaran McEvoy said.
Young was convicted of those charges in 2013, and sentenced to life in federal prison, but the conviction was later was vacated in 2017 by a federal appeals court, which cited evidentiary errors during the first trial, McEvoy said.
The case was sent back to the district court for a retrial.
During the retrial, a federal jury convicted Young of conspiring to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in relation to the killing of Cornelio, and found Young guilty of conspiracy to commit a violent crime in aid of racketeering, murder, as well as possessing, using and discharging a firearm resulting in death in relation to a crime of violence, according to the news release.
With Young’s conviction, all 45 defendants charged were convicted of federal racketeering charges, and have been “held responsible for multiple murders,” the DOJ said.
Young, who has been in federal custody since 2010, will be sentenced on October 7. He is facing life in a federal prison, authorities said.