The third and final defendant convicted in the killing of 18-year-old Joshua Steven Mora-Rodriguez at a Halloween night 2009 house party in La Habra was sentenced to 12 years in state prison. Jose Francisco Nuno, 23, had struck a deal to plead guilty to five felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to produce great bodily injury and admit to a gang sentencing enhancement in exchange for having murder and street terrorism charges dropped.
Nuno was given credit for serving three years in jail at his sentencing Wednesday.
Rodriguez and a friend may have been "party-hopping" when they unwittingly walked into a gang affair, where Nuno picked a fight with the pal. As Rodriguez and his friend tried to leave, they were jumped by a half dozen or more gang members. Nuno beat Rodriguez with his hands, Rene Antonio Lobos struck Rodriguez with a baseball bat, and Steven Salvador Hernandez stuck the knife in Rodriguez's neck that killed the young man.
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Lobos, who was 15 at the time of the attack, pleaded guilty in April to voluntary manslaughter with a sentencing enhancement for gang activity and was immediately sentenced to 16 years in state prison. Hernandez, who was also a juvenile at the time of the attack and was also charged as an adult, was convicted in May 2012 of second-degree murder and street terrorism with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity.
Rodriguez and his attackers were all La Habra residents, but unlike the others the victim was not in a gang. After his death, his mother started a crime-fighting foundation in his name.