COURT: Teen gang member gets 21 years for stabbing parolee to death

Teri Figueroa (NC Times) | September 7, 2012

A teenage gang member with a history of carrying knives was sentenced Thursday to 21 years in prison for stabbing a rival gang member to death at an Oceanside house party in March.

Jorge Alfonso Lopez, 18, of Oceanside, pleaded guilty last month to voluntary manslaughter and gang allegations in the death of Samuel Quintana Zamudio, 25, a parolee from Fallbrook.

The two were strangers when they ran across each other at a party in the 200 block of Walsh Street in Oceanside on March 4, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing in the case last spring.

Lopez was 17 at the time of the slaying, but prosecutors charged him as an adult. He was facing murder charges, which could have carried a life sentence if convicted. He took a deal to plead guilty to the lesser manslaughter charge, which carries up to 11 years. His admission that he was in a gang tacked on 10 years to his sentence.

“Looking at the facts of the case, we felt it was fair to make him an offer for a determinate term,” said Deputy District Attorney Robert Bruce, who prosecuted the case. A determinate term is one in which the defendant will be released from prison after serving a set amount of time. Life sentences are indeterminate terms, and the state parole board can decide to release an inmate.

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Photo credit: DON BOOMER

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