Two defendants were convicted in the 2016 shooting death of a teenage Marine on leave from Camp Pendleton in South Los Angeles, prosecutors said Thursday.
The jury deliberated less than two hours Wednesday afternoon before finding Oscar Aguilar, 28, and Esau Rios, 31, guilty of murder in the killing of 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Carlos Segovia Lopez in the Jefferson Park neighborhood where they lived, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
Segovia, also of L.A., was visiting his girlfriend’s home near 31st Street and Western Avenue when he noticed a group near his car around 11 p.m. on Sept. 16, according to investigators.
The Marine confronted the men, and Rios allegedly told Aguilar to approach the victim as he sat in his car. Segovia was shot once in his head, officials said.
Segovia was subsequently declared brain dead. His mother fought to keep him on life support, but he died three days later.
Others who knew Segovia told KTLA he actively volunteered in his community, helped the homeless and encouraged at-risk youth to join the Marines. A vigil held at the crime scene after his death was attended by L.A. City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson, and Mayor Eric Garcetti was at his funeral.
Both his killers were known gang members, according to court testimony.
Along with murder, Aguilar and Rios were both convicted of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle. Aguilar was additionally found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors said.
The defendants are facing sentencing enhancements after the jury found true allegations that a handgun was used in the killing, and that the crime was committed on the behalf of a gang. Aguilar is facing an additional enhancement for personally using a firearm in the shooting, according to the DA’s office.
Last June, a third defendant, 21-year-old Ricky Valente, also of Jefferson Park, pleaded no contest to being an accessory after the fact as part of a plea deal negotiated with prosecutors. He’s expected to be placed on three years of formal probation at his June 26 sentencing, officials said.
Aguilar and Rios are both scheduled to be sentenced July 8.
Rios is facing 50 years to life in prison. Before he is sentenced, Aguilar must face another trial on allegations that he has prior felony convictions.