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December 17, 2012: Fugitive Charged with Deputy’s Murder Extradited from Mexico

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Jane Robison, Assistant Media Chief
(213) 257-2000

One of six alleged Avenues gang members charged with capital murder in the 2008 fatal shooting of Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Juan Abel Escalante outside his parents’ home is awaiting arraignment today after being extradited from Mexico on Friday, the District Attorney’s Office announced.

Armando Albarran, aka “Chivo,” 30 (dob 6-8-82), was charged with one count each of conspiracy and murder with the special circumstance that the murder was carried out to further a criminal street gang, said Deputy District Attorney Phillip Stirling with the Crimes Against Peace Officers Unit. He is being held without bail.

Stirling, who is prosecuting the case along with Deputy District Attorney John Colello, said Albarran was allegedly sitting in the back seat of the car when the 27-year-old officer was fatally shot as he was preparing to leave for his morning shift at the Men’s Central Jail.

Of the six people charged in the case, three have pleaded. Carlos Javier Velasquez, aka “Stoney, 28, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The admitted shooter was sentenced Oct. 23 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Arnoldo Pineda, 31, who was forced at gunpoint to drive the car, and Guillermo Hernandez, aka “Flea,” 24, who was sitting in the backseat of the car, each pleaded no contest to one count of voluntary manslaughter. Hernandez was sentenced April 25 to 21 years in state prison. Pineda is awaiting sentencing, Stirling said.

The fifth defendant, Jose Renteria, 21, is awaiting trial in February. The sixth defendant, Roberto Salazar, 26, remains a fugitive.