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Gang member sentenced for killing baby in Van Nuys three years ago

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Ricardo Hernandez

Justice has been a long time coming in the case of Andrew Garcia, a 4-month-old infant shot dead outside a Van Nuys home in 2009.

But today the baby boy’s killer, 26-year-old Ricardo Hernandez, was sentenced by a judge to eight consecutive life sentences plus 125 years, the county DA’s Office announced.

Hernandez, a member of the notorious Blythe Street Gang, was convicted by a jury on April 16 of first-degree murder, six counts of attempted murder and several gang and other enhancements, leading to a sentence that guarantees he will die in prison.

An accomplice in the shooting, Alfonzo Landa of Panorama City, pleaded no contest last year to voluntary manslaughter and attempted murder and was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.

According to police, on Sept. 27, 2009, Hernandez and Landa approached a gathering on the 14300 block of Kittridge Street where people were celebrating Andrew’s baptism. Andrew’s babysitter, 28-year-old Anna Contreras, was feeding him inside a car.


Gang member convicted in shotgun death of infant, attempted murder of 6 others

Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Los Angeles gang member Ricardo Hernandez was convicted Monday of first-degree murder for the shotgun killing of a 4-month-old, and the attempted murders of six other people. The 26-year-old is facing 200 years to life in prison.

The infant, Andrew Garcia, was killed as he was being fed in the front seat of a parked car in the San Fernando Valley, following a verbal confrontation near the vehicle, say prosecutors. Two others were wounded in the 2009 attack. 

Hernandez was captured one year after the incident, after fleeing to Mexico. He was located in the state of Jalisco and was returned to the US.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 31.


Lisa Brenner can be reached via Twitter @lisa_brenner