General Crime

Three Convicted In Gang-Related 2010 Double Murder In San Jose

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Three San Jose residents were convicted on Monday of fatally shooting two men in 2010 because one of the victims gave them a dirty look, according to Santa Clara County prosecutors.

Abel “Shag-E” Herena, 31, and Aaron “Diablo” Lomeli, 24, were convicted of the first-degree murders of Phillip Ayala and Alex Rodriguez on Aug. 28, 2010, while Juan Cruz, 31, was convicted of second-degree murder. The charges came with additional enhancements for the use of a firearm and gang participation.

Rodriguez, 27, and Ayala, 26, were in the driveway of the Fairways Apartments at 305 San Antonio Court where they encountered a group of people leaving a friend’s home after watching a San Francisco 49ers preseason game, prosecutors said.

Ayala was on his way to visit his pregnant girlfriend at the time of the encounter, prosecutors said.

Witnesses told police that Ayala, who was intoxicated, gave Lomeli a dirty look. The two argued, and then Lomeli told the other two to “Pull it out!”

The others responded by gunning down Ayala and Rodriguez. A female acquaintance of theirs was also shot and seriously injured.

Herena, Lomeli and Cruz, all of whom are described as members of a Norteno gang, were arrested in November 2010.

Herena and Lomeli are expected to be sentenced to life without parole, while Cruz faces more than 110 years to life in prison.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 6.

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