Asian gang leader gets 218 years for murders

LOS ANGELES - The Asian Boyz bloody murder spree in 1995 and 1996 came to a conclusion last Friday when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge sentenced the final defendant to 218 years to life in state prison.Pierre Mercado, 38, who holed up in the Philippines for a decade before being caught and extradited to Los Angeles, was sentenced by Judge Curtis Rappe. Judge Rappe presided over Mercado's jury trial that ended early this month with four first-degree murder convictions, along with five attempted premeditated murders and two aggravated kidnappings. Jurors also found true gun and gang allegations. The defendant was the last Asian Boyz member to be convicted of a series of gang-motivated shootings in the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys, as well as near Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Deputy District Attorney Eugene Hanrahan, who with Deputy District Attorney Hoon Chun prosecuted the case, said the gang launched a killing spree to instill fear in rival gang members. Pierre Mercado, known on the street as "Boo Boo," and his older brother, Marvin, fled to the Philippines after the murders and were returned to Los Angeles in 2007. Marvin Mercado was convicted of eight gang murders at an earlier separate trial and is serving multiple life prison terms. Seven other Asian Boyz were tried and convicted in 1999. All are serving life terms in state prison. The murders for which Pierre Mercado was convicted included three young men who were gunned down near the San Bernardino Freeway in El Monte in August 1995 when they were mistaken as members of a Chinese-based gang, two Marines who were fired upon in July 1995 while in an open-air jeep near LAX and the March 1996 murder of one young man and the wounding of another at a San Fernando Valley party.

********** Published: August 30, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 20