Ex-LA gang boss convicted of 8 murders

The former boss of a Los Angeles street gang who eluded authorities for more than a decade before being arrested in the Philippines and brought back for prosecution was convicted Wednesday of eight murders and 10 attempted murders.

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for five days before finding Marvin Mercado, 37, guilty on all but two counts.

Jurors also found true a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders. They were scheduled to begin deliberating next Tuesday whether to recommend life in prison or the death penalty.

Mercado remained jailed without bail. A call to his attorney was not immediately returned.

Prosecutors said Mercado led the Asian Boyz gang in the mid 1990s and was involved in 1995 and 1996 attacks in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys.

The victims included two gang rivals who were ambushed in Van Nuys, a man killed in a home-invasion robbery in Reseda, a man killed in Mission Hills as he was heading home from a video arcade, and three men killed in a car-to-car shooting after being mistaken for gang enemies.

Deputy District Attorney Hoon Chun said Mercado either had a direct role in the killings or aided his cohorts, including being the driver in the car-to-car shooting.

Mercado fled the country and lived in the Philippines under the false name Mark Delos Angeles for about a dozen years before being arrested and extradited to the United States.

Seven of his fellow gang members were tried in a joint trial in 1999 and convicted. They were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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