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Crime & Justice

Teen convicted in Silver Lake road rage murder

Jose Beltran
Jose Beltran

Jose Beltran has been convicted of last year's Silver Lake road rage shooting death of pizza delivery man Juan David Vasquez Loma.

A jury on Thursday found Beltran guilty of second-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder and weapons allegations, say prosecutors. The jury found not true special allegations that the crimes were gang related. He faces multiple life prison terms when he's sentenced on Nov. 1.

25-year-old Loma was driving co-workers home from a Silver Lake pizza parlor in August 2011 when he passed Beltran's car at a stop sign -- Beltran then began chasing Loma's pickup truck and flashing gang signs, said investigators. Loma stopped in the 1400 block of Silver Lake Boulevard and waved Beltran ahead. Beltran then shot him in the head.

The victim was taken to a hospital, where he was declared brain dead and placed on life support to give his mother time to arrive from Mexico to say goodbye.

A few days after the shooting, Beltran -- who was 18-years-old and living with his mother roughly a half-mile from the scene of the crime -- was arrested on suspicion of driving with a loaded firearm after officers pulled him over for a traffic violation.

"He didn't have a driver's license. As they (police) were conducting the impound of his vehicle, they recovered a weapon under the driver's seat. That's why we're here today," detective Jose Carrillo said at the time.

After Beltran was arrested, detectives realized he matched the description of the suspect in the Loma shooting.

"He was, in my opinion, potentially very dangerous,'' Carrillo said at the time. "He shot at one person. What's to keep him from shooting at somebody else?''