An alleged gang member convicted of murdering the 18-year-old son of a Monterey Park police lieutenant was sentenced by a judge to 164 years to life in prison this afternoon in West Valley Superior Court.
Paul Anguiano, 26, was convicted by a jury in May 2008 of shooting and killing Dennis Vaughn Harris, 18, and attempting to murder three other men during an Oct. 4, 2005 confrontation in Rancho Cucamonga.
Anguiano has maintained that he was misidentified as the shooter by sheriff’s deputies, and prior to his sentencing today he faced Harris’ family in court and pleaded his innocence.
“I can tell you from one man to another, I didn’t kill your son,” Anguiano said to Eugene Harris, Dennis Harris’ father.
Dennis Harris, of Corona, was shot and killed near a market on 25th Street near Hermosa Avenue.
He and three friends had been in a fight earlier in the day with Anguiano and some of his friends, prosecutors say, and they had returned to confront the men when the shooting occurred.
Prosecutors allege Anguiano shot and killed Harris, then fired at the other three men as they fled the area, wounding one of them.
Before Anguiano was sentenced this afternoon, Harris’ mother and father spoke in open court about their son and his death.
“My son will be able to rest in peace now,” said Maria Harris, Dennis Harris’ mother.
Eugene Harris, a police officer of 20 years, said that after Anguiano is sentenced, the alleged Cucamonga Kings gang member becomes irrelevant. “I’m not going to think about you at all,” he said.
It was after Eugene and Maria Harris’ comments that Anguiano pleaded his innocence to them.
“All I can tell you is I didn’t do it,” Anguiano said.
Before he was sentenced, Anguiano unsuccessfully argued that he should be granted a new trial.
Anguiano, with the assistance of his defense attorney, Maryanne Murphy, argued that Anguiano’s trial attorney failed to raise issues during the trial that would have helped his case.
Judge Raymond Haight rejected Anguiano’s motion for a new trial.
Anguiano has 60 days to file a notice of intent to appeal his case, Haight said at the end of the hearing.