Gang Member Pleads Guilty in 1993 Westlake Apartment Arson That Left 10 Dead

Local News
The scene of the 1993 Westlake district apartment fire that left 10 dead. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The scene of the 1993 Westlake district apartment fire that left 10 dead. (Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

An 18th Street gang member pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges Friday for his role in a deadly revenge-fueled arson that left 10 people dead in Los Angeles more than a quarter-century ago, prosecutors said.

Joseph Monge, 44, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and will be sentenced to 11 years in prison later this year, according to Greg Risling, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Monge was one of three defendants expected to stand trial in a 1993 blaze at a Westlake apartment complex that claimed the lives of three women and seven children: Olga Leon, 24, and her three children — Rosia, 7, Jesus and Jose, both 4; Alejandrina Roblero, 29, and her three children — Leyver, 11, William and Yadira, both 6; and Rosalia Ruiz, 21, and Lancy Mateo, 1.

Los Angeles law enforcement leaders announced the charges against Monge, Johanna Lopez and Ramiro “Greedy” Valerio in 2017. The 18th Street Gang held sway over Westlake in the 1990s, and police have said the fire was set after Lopez expressed frustration with a manager at the apartment complex, who had taken efforts to curb narcotics sales on the property.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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