Gang member gets 158 years in prison for killing teen in Oceano drive-by

clambert@thetribunenews.comJune 10, 2013 

Armando Yepez, 21, of Santa Maria was convicted of first-degree murder for the Nov. 17, 2011, drive-by shooting of Gabriel Salgado in Oceano.

DAVID MIDDLECAMP — dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

After Armando Yepez’s request for a new trial was denied Monday, the 22-year old man — who was convicted of killing an Arroyo Grande teen — will spend the rest of his life in state prison.

Yepez will be eligible for parole in 158 years, Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran said.

The Santa Maria man was convicted of first-degree murder for the Nov. 17, 2011, drive-by shooting of Gabriel Salgado in Oceano.

Salgado, 17, was one of several youths standing on a corner when Yepez drove past and opened fire, hitting Salgado and another teen, who recovered from his injuries.

During the trial, testimony showed that Yepez, a transplanted gang member from Los Angeles, randomly selected victims because he was upset by confrontations he’d had with Oceano gang members.

Yepez’s sentencing had been delayed several times as he requested a new trial and a new attorney, frustrating Salgado’s family members.

In May, San Luis Obispo Superior Court Judge Ginger Garrett denied his request for a new attorney during a hearing closed to the public and the prosecution.

A few relatives of the victims spoke during the hearing Monday, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

When the jury verdict was reached in December, several members of Salgado’s family burst into tears.

“I feel at peace,” Salgado’s mother, Anna Lopez, said at the time.

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