Jury convicts Pico Rivera man in Montebello murder

MONTEBELLO — A Los Angeles jury convicted a Pico Rivera man Tuesday of shooting another man to death along Whittier Boulevard in Montebello in 2007.
Ernie Sandoval, 29, was convicted of murdering 25-year-old Melvin Estrada of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Spokeswoman Jane Robison said.
The jury also found true the special allegation of the personal use of a firearm, court officials said.
He faces 18 years to life in prison when he returns to Los Angeles Superior Court for sentencing on April 28.
During Sandoval’s sentencing hearing, officials added, the court will also determine whether Sandoval is to be sentenced at a third strike offender, which could add additional prison time to his sentence.
Sandoval waived his right to a jury trial on the three strikes determination, court officials said.
Sandoval shot and killed Estrada July 14, 2007, in the 1900 block of West Whittier Boulevard, investigators said.
Officials said Estrada had been involved in a fist fight with one of Sandoval’s acquaintances before the shooting before Sandoval walked up to Estrada, shot him in the chest and walked away.
The slaying remained a mystery until mid-2010.
Homicide detectives released a composite sketch of the killer in April of 2010. The next month, Sandoval was jailed.
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