A jury began deliberating Wednesday on whether to recommend the death penalty for two men convicted of fatally shooting three and wounding seven others outside a Pico Rivera pizza parlor in 2009.
Shiara Dávila-Morales, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, said a Los Angeles Superior Court jury on Friday found John Perez and Rudy Ruiz guilty of three counts of first degree murder, one count of conspiracy to commit murder, and seven counts of attempted murder.
The jurors found true the allegations that each personally and intentionally discharged a firearm and caused great bodily injury to the victims; that each defendant was a principal in the commission of the offenses; and that the crime was committed for the benefit of a street gang.
Davila- Morales said the jury also found true a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders.
The penalty phase of the trial began Monday, she said.
The jury began deliberating on whether to recommend a death sentence Wednesday afternoon. The men faced the possibilities of life imprisonment or death.
The case stems from the June 27, 2009 shooting at Falcone’s Pizza in the 9200 block of Slauson Avenue in Pico Rivera. Killed in the shooting were Carlos Carrera, 39, of La Habra, Garret Dandini, 25, of Whittier and his cousin Tony Dandini, 39, of Whittier.
Ruiz and Perez targeted a fundraiser at the pizza parlour under the mistaken belief that it was a meeting of members of the Mongols motorcycle gang, according to testimony heard during their preliminary hearing.
But instead, they fired at a gathering of the “Old School Riders,” a local motorcycle club which detectives said has no gang ties.
- Staff report