LA County DA Gascón under fire as convicted killer set to be released 6 years into 50-year sentence

Rob Hayes Image
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
DA Gascón under fire after convicted murderer set to be released
L.A. County DA George Gascón is under fire after a convicted murderer sentenced to 50 years in prison for a 2015 shooting is set to be released.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As George Gascón closes in on his one year anniversary as Los Angeles County's district attorney, another controversial move by his office is raising questions about his criminal justice system reform policies.

This month, his office used a legal technicality that will lead to the release of Andrew Cachu, a convicted murderer and documented gang member who was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Cachu was convicted of gunning down 41-year-old Louis Amela outside a Palmdale restaurant in 2015. At the time, Cachu was a few weeks shy of his 18th birthday, but was tried as an adult.

An attorney for the Amela family says they are outraged about the release and shocked that the District Attorney's Office failed to even consult with them about the move.

RELATED: Organizers to renew effort to recall LA County DA George Gascón

With the California gubernatorial recall election over, another local recall attempt is getting a reboot.

"They feel as though that the only person the District Attorney's Office is concerned about is the murderer," said Kathleen Cady, the attorney for the Amela family. "It really is just devastating and they feel as though justice has not been served in their case and that their voice is essentially being silenced."

On Tuesday afternoon, Gascón met with family members of violent crime victims in an effort to get feedback on his office's efforts. For more than two hours, they sat in a circle outside the L.A. County Hall of Records building, telling their stories and sharing suggestions with the district attorney.

"This is extremely helpful for us because we're in the process of revamping and reimagining the way we do our work with victims," Gascón told Eyewitness News after the event.

When asked about the Amela family and their outrage over the release of the man who gunned down their son, Gascón said he understands their anger and that it was never his office's intention to spring Cachu loose.

"We wanted him to go to the department of juvenile justice services of the state," Gascón explained. "That didn't come through for a variety of reasons, and it's because the whole system is evolving. That's why we took the extra steps to work with the anti-recidivism coalition."

Gascón says as of Tuesday, Cachu was still in custody, but would be released within the next few days,