17 February 2018 :
A Los Angeles County jury sentenced David Cruz Ponce, 37, Hispanic, to death. Ponce, a gang member, has been sentenced for the Nov. 1, 2008, shooting deaths of Hamid Shraifat, 41, Vanessa Malaepule, 34, Frederick Neumeier, 53, Katherine Verdun, 24, and Lorenzo Villicana, 44. He was also found guilty of first-degree murder for the March 23, 2009, kidnapping and shooting death of Tony Bledsoe, 18. The killings remained unsolved until police announced arrests in 2012 and said the motive was drug debts owed by 1 victim to Ponce. Co-defendant Max Eliseo Rafael, 31, is to undergo trial, but against him prosecutors won’t be pursuing the death penalty.