A butcher was convicted today of trying to hack up a Fountain Valley man not with a butcher's knife but a machete.
Antonio Cinco Ortega, 23, of Santa Ana, is now looking at the possibility of 29 years to life in state prison for his role in an alleged murder plot authorities claim was hatched by the victim's wife and her boyfriend.
Ortega, who worked at a Huntington Beach grocery store, was a close friend of Michael Calvin Shores II, a 40-year-old, unemployed security guard who was renting a room at the Fountain Valley home of Frank Richard Sharpski, his wife Mary Katheryn Sharpski and their three children.
According to the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA), Frank Sharpski abused his wife physically and emotionally, so much so that she was drawn to Shores, they became lovers and they hatched a plan to make it appear an intruder killed her 53-year-old husband so she and Shores could run off to live together in Wyoming.
The lovers are alleged to have hired Ortega to do the deed for $5,000. But despite his nose nearly being sliced off, his skull being fractured and a thumb and two fingers being severed, Frank Sharpski survived his attack.
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Originally, Ortega, Shores and Mary Sharpski, 49, were being tried together for the crime, but after mistrials in June 2011 the cases were separated. A new trial for Shores and Ms. Sharpski is scheduled to begin next month.
An Orange County Superior Court jury today found Shores guilty of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and mayhem, while sentencing enhancement allegations were found true. Judge Richard Toohey scheduled sentencing for Jan. 11.