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2 Men Sentenced To Life In Prison In Connection With 2013 Murder Of 7-Eleven Clerk In Highland Park

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Two men were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a convenience store clerk's murder during an attempted robbery they committed amid a series of hold-ups throughout the Los Angeles area.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sam Ohta called 22-year-old Rasheen Childs and 21-year-old Bryant S. Moore "serial robbers" who preyed on clerks at gas stations and convenience stores.

The judge noted that Childs gunned down 31-year-old Gonzalo Garcia as the victim ran away during an attempted robbery at a 7-Eleven store in Highland Park on Dec. 22, 2013.

"Gonzalo was an amazing person who touched many hearts," Garcia's cousin, Teresa Duenas told the courtroom. "Your senseless act took him away from us,""

"Now three families are suffering," Garcia's cousin, Elizabeth Duenas, added. "We will be visiting a grave and your families will be visiting you in prison."

Moore's attorney, Jeffrey Brodey, told the victim's family that his client "feels terrible about the loss that the family suffered."

The defense lawyer objected to the life sentence on behalf of his client, but the judge said the term was mandated by the state Legislature.

Childs and Moore were convicted Feb. 23 of first-degree murder for Garcia's killing, and were also found guilty of the special circumstance allegation that Garcia was slain during the commission of an attempted robbery.

Along with the clerk's killing, jurors convicted the two of trying to rob him.

The seven-woman, five-man panel additionally found Childs guilty of 18 counts of second-degree robbery and one count of false imprisonment by violence. Those charges stemmed from a series of robberies between Dec. 11, 2013, and Jan. 2, 2014, in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Gardena and Carson, according to Deputy District Attorney Robert Song.

Moore was additionally convicted of 10 counts of second-degree robbery and one count of false imprisonment by violence.

A third defendant, Eric Tyrone Carter, 24, was convicted in February by a separate jury of seven counts of second-degree robbery for his involvement in some of the hold-ups. He was sentenced last week to nearly 40 years in state prison.

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