A judge sentenced one of three men who were teens when a Santa Clarita man was shot and killed in a 2011 Halloween robbery-murder to multiple life sentences Thursday.
Eric Edwards, of Canyon Country, 20, was sentenced to 30 to life, plus four consecutive life terms for his 2011 crimes, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The nature of the sentence means Edwards would have to serve a minimum of 58 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole, according to officials.
Deputy surveys the crime scene behind the shopping center parking lot. Photo: KHTS
After lengthy trial delays, jurors found Edwards and Diamonte McGhee guilty in October in the 2011 Halloween murder in Canyon Country.
McGhee and Edwards were both found guilty of murder and attempted murder, with special allegations that a firearm was used in the commission of the crime, and that their assaults were done during the commission of a robbery.
The third person accused of the crime, Branden Higgs, was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit robbery. On the other 10 counts against Higgs, the judge declared a mistrial.
Judge David Gelfound declared the mistrial after finding the jury’s vote was 7-5, on most of the charges, in favor of not guilty for Higgs.
The three were charged with the murder of Alejandro Sanchez-Torres, who tried to help Ricardo Sandoval while Sandoval was being robbed.
Sandoval — who was trying to buy marijuana from the then-teens, and sell them a Nintendo DS before the robbery took place — was not in court Thursday.
Sanchez-Torres, who was killed during the robbery, had only met Sandoval moments prior to his death, when Sandoval gave the man 35 cents, after Sanchez-Torres asked if he had any money.
Sanchez-Torres was with his then-7-year-old son when he saw Sandoval getting beat up and tried to intervene in the wash behind Art’s Liquor in Canyon Country, according to testimony in court.
The jury foreman said jurors were “hopelessly deadlocked” on the counts against Higgs, and that no amount of instruction or deliberation would likely change the outcome.
McGhee is due back for sentencing in May.
Higgs is due back in court Wednesday for a hearing in regard to his retrial.