Man convicted in Oceano drive-by shooting now faces more prison time

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comJanuary 8, 2013 

A former Los Angeles gang member convicted of killing an Arroyo Grande teen in a drive-by shooting will face even more prison time because of a violent crime he committed as a juvenile.

During a short court trial Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Ginger Garrett ruled that Armando Yepez, 21, of Santa Maria was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon as a juvenile. The juvenile incident — a gang-related stabbing committed in Oceano in 2007 — will now be considered when Yepez is sentenced for the murder case on March 5.

Yepez, 21, was convicted by a jury last month of first-degree murder and other charges. On Nov. 17, 2011, he drove past a crowd of teens standing on an Oceano corner and fired a .38-caliber pistol several times. Gabriel Salgado, 17, and a 14-year-old friend of Salgado’s were struck by bullets.

Salgado died in a hospital the next morning.

The District Attorney’s Office said Yepez fired into the crowd to bolster his reputation as a gang member.

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