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Suspect allegedly murders teens for gang entry

May 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A year and a half after the murder of two teenagers in Riverside County, a suspect has been charged with their killing.He's accused of committing murder just to gain entrance to a violent street gang. And Thursday, nearly a year and a half after the crime, 19-year-old Arsenio Morgan will finally face justice.

"Unfortunately, he is like too many of our youth here in Riverside County," said Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco. "This is a guy who's aimless. He was given instructions that he needed to kill somebody, and if that person happened to be Latino, more the better.

It was December 13, 2008. A group of kids was playing in the front yard of a house, when from out of nowhere, gunfire. The lives of two teenagers ended that night. Salvador Soliz, 18, and Ramiro Sanchez, 16, were killed when Morgan allegedly fired into the crowd.

The families of both victims are still waiting for justice.

"He has no idea how much damage he's caused this family," said Maria Pedrasea, one victim's mother. "My son didn't have any problems with anybody, he just wanted to go and have a good time."

As for the defendant, Pacheco says at minimum he'll be seeking life in prison without parole. He could seek the death penalty.

Riverside Police Chief John De La Rosa hopes Thursday's announcement will send a message.

"Killing two young men just because they're Latino is senseless, hateful and shall not be tolerated in the city of Riverside," said De La Rosa.

The defendant is already serving a six-year prison sentence for armed robbery. He's scheduled to be brought to Riverside to face murder charges in this case some time within the next couple weeks.


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