Westside gang member sentenced in teen’s slaying

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(AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — A gang member convicted of killing a popular Santa Monica High School student taunted the victim’s mother before being sentenced to life in prison.

The Los Angeles Times reports a judge admonished Jose Zapien after he smirked and chuckled during a tearful courtroom statement Thursday by Armita Lopez, the mother of 15-year-old Eduardo Lopez.

Minutes later the judge sentenced the 25-year-old with tattoos on his head to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 95 years.

In November Zapien was found guilty of fatally shooting Eduardo Lopez in February 2006 as the teen walked in Santa Monica. Lopez was a standout outfielder on his high school’s baseball team.

Police say Zapien is a member of a gang that operates on the Westside.

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