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Crime & Justice

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

Ricardo Hernandez
Ricardo Hernandez
LAPD via

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.

After a brief exchange, Hernandez fired six times at the group with his shotgun, killing Andrew and wounding Contreras, who was pregnant, as well as an 18-year-old purported gang member.

The two men fled, and Hernandez was identified as the primary suspect soon after the murder. Rewards were offered for his arrest, but at some point Hernandez crossed the border to Mexico. It was a year before authorities caught up to him in Jalisco and extradited him back to Los Angeles, the Daily News reports.

A website called, which follows gangs in Los Angeles, states that “Blythe Street gang members are known for their violence and for trafficking cocaine.”