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.
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.