A 41-year-old Garden Grove man who was arrested after a handgun recovered during an investigation of white supremacist gangs matched the weapon used in a violent attempted robbery in Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury this week of attempted murder, attempted robbery, assault with a firearm and street terrorism.
Shawn Michael "Whitey" Espinoza faces a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison at a Dec. 9 court hearing. His wife, Jessica Price-Espinoza, is awaiting trial on similar charges.
According to the Huntington Beach Police Department Facebook page:
Around 10 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2009, a man who resides in the 21200 block of Banff Lane was confronted by a couple he did not know. The male stranger asked for the resident's name and, after being told, said, "You owe someone $1,000, don't you?"
When the resident asked to whom he was indebted, he did not receive an answer. The couple then moved toward him, with the man pulling out a .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol and demanding the victim's wallet. When he refused to give up his wallet, he was shot in the left thigh, shattering his femur. The couple then fled in a dark colored sedan.
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However, they left behind a .45 caliber shell casing and black knit glove. A DNA profile was recovered and identified on the glove by crime scene analysts. Meanwhile, a .45 caliber handgun was recovered in January 2010 by an undercover Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent during Operation Storm Front, a multi-agency task force that targeted white supremacist criminal street gangs in Orange County. The Orange County Crime Lab later matched the shell casing recovered on Banff Lane to the gun.
The Espinozas were arrested shortly thereafter. The hubby, who you see in all his tattooed neck glory below, was convicted Monday.