A jury has convicted gang banger Fernando Nanda Torres, 31, of Santa Ana, for the 2010 murder of a man shot in the head while walking away from a house party.
That sets Torres up for a possible sentence of 50 years to life in state prison at a hearing scheduled for Aug. 17 in Santa Ana, although the defendant's attorney told City News Service he will seek a new trial.
Santa Ana resident Michael Barragan and his friends were partying in the home of Patrick John Palomino, 46, in the 400 block of North Newhope Street near Fifth Street in Santa Ana on March 13, 2010.
Around 1:30 a.m., an argument broke out between Barragan's party and Palomino's party. As Barragan and his friends were leaving, he was shot in the head by Torres. Police arrived to find Barragan on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head. He later died at UCI Medical Center.
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Torres was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder with a sentencing enhancement for gang activity.
Palomino, who is also a longtime gang member, was originally charged with murder and gang sentencing enhancements in the case. He pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon in January 2010.