A state appeals court panel has upheld the conviction of the head of a robbery-prostitution ring for a crime spree in which two men were killed and another was wounded in South Los Angeles.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there were errors in the case of Michael Mosby, who is serving a life prison term without the possibility of parole for the April 18, 2014, shooting death of Pedro Rodriguez, 36, and the April 23, 2014, killing of William Quezada, 29.
Both slayings occurred near Flower and 47th streets, at the edge of the Vermont Square neighborhood where it borders the Harbor (110) Freeway.
Jurors found true the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder during the commission or attempted commission of a robbery, along with allegations that the defendant personally discharged a handgun during each of the shootings.
Mosby also was convicted of two counts of second-degree robbery of Rodriguez and QuezadaQuezada, along with one count each of attempted murder, shooting at an occupied motor vehicle and child abuse—stemming from an April 1, 2014, shooting in which a man was wounded—and pimping of a minor 16 years or younger.
Mosby was tried along with co-defendant Mariah Milika Jiles, who was found guilty of one count each of attempted murder and shooting at an occupied motor vehicle involving the April 1, 2014, shooting, and child abuse involving her 2-year-old daughter, who was in the van with her at the time. Jiles was sentenced to a potential life prison term, but the appellate court panel ordered the case against her to be sent back for the trial court as the resultof a new state law that gives judges the discretion to strike certain firearm enhancements.
Two other people—Tenise Dominique Taylor and Marina Judkins—testified at the trial in exchange for lesser sentences.
Deputy District Attorney Victor Avila told jurors that the killings of Rodriguez and Quezada were “cold” and “calculated.”
The prosecutor said Rodriguez picked up Judkins, who was working as a prostitute, and parked in the area. At a signal from Judkins, Mosby pulled his car in front of Rodriguez’s delivery van to block it and then “shoots him straight in the chest,” Avila said.
Mosby then took Rodriguez’s wallet and some paperwork, which was found in Mosby’s car along with the murder weapon when he was arrested, the prosecutor said.
The killing occurred around midnight, and it was seven hours before the shooting was reported and Rodriguez’s body was found.
Five days later, “Mosby did the same thing,” the prosecutor said.
Quezada picked up Judkins and “tries to negotiate for sex,” Avila said.
Mosby jumped into Quezada’s car and fired three bullets in the victim’s back as Quezada jumped out of the driver’s side window and then crawled and collapsed in front of a nearby house, the prosecutor said.