Convicted Murderer Sentenced To Death For Marine, Teenager Killings
INDIO - The ultimate sentence was given Friday to a known Desert Hot Springs gang member convicted of killing a U.S. Marine and a teenager.
Emilio Manuel Avalos, 35, was convicted last fall for the 2001 murder of 20-year-old Marine Cpl. Henry Lozano as well as a 1994 shooting death of 17-year-old Jahi Collins. His jury recommended the death penalty, which was upheld by Riverside Superior Court Judge James S. Hawkins.
KMIR6 was in the courtroom Friday as Avalos was sentenced to death for Lozano's murder, and to life in prison without the possibility of parole for Collins' murder.
Avalos was also convicted of the attempted murder of Collins' friend, Bobby Wilson, who was left paralyzed in the 1994 shooting at Wardman Park in Desert Hot Springs.
During the trial, attorenys painted a picture of Lozano's last moments, saying Avalos killed Lozano in the Desert Hot Springs residence of his girlfriend, who Avalos also dated at one time.
Avalos' defense attorney, David Macher, asked jurors to feel sympathy not just for the victims' families, but also for Avalos' family.
Avalos and other gang members shot at Collins and Wilson as they sat in a parked car.
The Lozano and Collins murder cases were consolidated in 2007.