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Gang Member Gets 21 Years For Role in Shooting Death of Woman Who Interrupted Him Spraying Graffiti

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Cesar Lopez, a 24-year-old gang member, has been sentenced in Norwalk to 21 years in state prison for his role in the shooting death of a woman who interrupted him when he was spraying graffiti.

Lopez was spraying graffiti on a wall at San Gabriel River Parkway and Woodford Street on August 10, 2007, when Maria Hicks spotted the vandal in the act from inside her Honda and honked her horn and flashed her brights at him to get him to stop, according to City News Service.

Minutes later, gunfire broke out, with three to five rounds delivered in the direction of the vehicle. Hicks was struck in the head and died later at the hospital.

The gun was fired by co-defendant Angel Rojas, then just 16, who is expected to be sentenced later in April after being convicted of first-degree murder, shooting at an occupied vehicle, street terrorism and unlawful firearm activity. Rojas could receive up to 50 years in prison for the shooting.

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Lopez pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and admitted a gang enhancement.