by Richard Winton (LA Times)
December 2, 2009
A judge declared a mistrial today in the case of two gang members accused in the "49th Street Massacre" of three people in 2006.
The decision came after a jury deadlocked in the case, which sparked community outrage and became a symbol of the long reach of gang violence in South L.A.
Los Angeles Police Department detectives concluded that members of the Rollin' 30s gang fired at the victims -- who had no gang ties -- while driving around the neighborhood looking for members of the Eastside Trece. The suspects, who are black, fired on a group, all Latinos, standing outside a house on 49th Street.
The shooting was dubbed "the 49th Street Massacre" by then-Police Chief William J. Bratton.
The victims included David Marcial, 10, a fourth-grader at Hooper Elementary School, and his uncle, Larry Marcial, 22, a father of two and an aspiring singer of corridos, or Mexican ballads. Larry Marcial was included on a CD with other singers, and the shooting came as it was about to be released, according to the producer, who said he had hoped it would launch Marcial's career. The third victim, Luis Cervantes, 17, was a junior at Johnson High School and a neighbor of the Marcials.
Police said none had gang ties and were simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Attorneys for the two suspects, Charles Smith and Ryan Moore, insisted their clients were not involved in the shooting.