Gang members plead guilty in antigay killing

By admin

Originally published on Advocate.com September 27 2003 12:00 AM ET

Three gang members pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for their roles in last year's stabbing death of a gay man outside a downtown gay bar in Riverside, Calif. Under terms of the plea deal announced Wednesday, the trio won't be required to testify against a fellow gang member charged with stabbing Jeffrey Owens, 40, of Moreno Valley outside the Menagerie nightclub. Owens and a friend were allegedly attacked to enhance the street gang's reputation, a prosecutor said.

Viviano Cruz Marin, 26, and David Leal Martinez, 29, agreed to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter. Superior court judge Edward Webster sentenced Marin to nine years in prison and Miguel Angel Ramos, 29, to three years on a count of being an accessory to murder. Martinez will be sentenced October 31. Martinez attorney Frank Peasley said the defendants belonged to a "small party crew" known as the Dark Side.

Trial for Dorian Lee Gutierrez, 20, is expected to start next year. He is charged with killing Owens and trying to kill Owens's friend Michael Bussee. During a preliminary hearing, police said Gutierrez admitted stabbing Owens. If convicted, he could face a prison sentence of 40 years to life.