Gang member sentenced for Lynwood chase, murder


Juan Diego Valencia, a reputed gang member, was sentenced to 47 years to life for felony evasion and second-degree murder, the judge noting aggravating circumstances of cruelty and viciousness.

Valencia showed little emotion, as an interpreter, Maria Alonso, read a statement to the judge from the mother of murder victim Selene Mayoral.

"This man, who my daughter thought was so good, has left me so much trauma and pain in my heart. He destroyed our family," the victim's mother said in a statement, which was read in court by an interpreter. "I don't think that we deserved any of this. I can't understand why this man has such evil in him. He took my daughter's life."

Sheriff's deputies tried to pull Valencia over for a traffic stop last year in Lynwood when a deputy saw a flash and heard a gunshot. Valencia bolted from the scene, leading deputies on a chase.

At one point, he slowed the car and pushed Mayoral's body out of it before taking off again. It was all caught on cellphone video.

Valencia was later arrested after barricading himself in Hawthorne apartment.

Judge Kelvin Flier told Mayoral's family that he hopes the sentence can bring them some closure. But outside the courtroom, her mother said she doesn't think that will ever be possible.

"I have no words to describe it, but it's horrible," her mother said through an interpreter. "It's very hard to see the person that took your child's life away."

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