Trio charged in robbery conspiracy that ended in murder

Jason Kandel (Daily News) | January 18, 2008

SYLMAR – The stepdaughter of man whose body was found asphyxiated over the weekend in a Sylmar motel room has been charged along with two accused gang members in a robbery conspiracy in connection with the case, officials said today.

Itzel Ponce Gutierrez, a 19-year-old waitress from Sylmar, was charged in connection with the death of her stepfather, Jose Eugenio Carrillo, 45, whose strangled body was found Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the Country Side Inn, at 14955 Roxford St., in Sylmar.

She faces one count of robbery conspiracy in a case in which Los Angeles Police Department Detective Gene Parshall said she allegedly set up a robbery in which she and two alleged accomplices took Carrillo’s Chevrolet Avalanche to ATMs and used his credit cards to withdraw cash.

Parshall did not say why Carrillo was killed or offer details about the slaying.

“They planned to rob this guy for his car and money,” Parshall said. “The sad thing is that the stepdaughter set up her stepdad who raised her her whole life.”

Police quickly identified two suspects who were caught in their neighborhood in the 14200 block of Calvert Street in Van Nuys the day after the slaying, said Los Angeles Police Detective Jim Freund.

They were identified as Armando “Tripps” Torrez, 23, and 17-year-old Anthony Hernandez, aka “Little Shadow” or “Habit.” They are accused members of Barrio Van Nuys.

They have been charged with murder, robbery, burglary, lying in wait, and a gang enhancement, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Torrez is an ex-con who spent two years, eight months in state prison custody stemming from two convictions in 2002 – assault with a deadly weapon and grand theft, according to the California Department of Corrections.

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