LOS ANGELES — A state appeals court panel on Friday upheld a gang member’s conviction for the shooting deaths of two men at a private party at the Moose Lodge on Ocean Park Boulevard in Santa Monica more than six years ago.

The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected Jose Mojarro Jr.’s claim that there were errors in his trial in Los Angeles Superior Court for the March 5, 2005, gang-related murders of Jonathan Hernandez and Hector Bonilla, according to reports.

Hernandez and Bonilla were shot multiple times — with 26 rounds fired from two semi-automatic weapons.

Mojarro was convicted along with co-defendant Erick Nunez of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In a ruling last September, the same panel upheld Nunez’s conviction, but reversed a special circumstance allegation against him and reduced his sentence from life in prison without the possibility of parole to 100 years to life in prison.

Nunez was convicted and sentenced separately for a Jan. 25, 2006, incident in which he and another man, Frank Morado, exchanged fire with sheriff’s deputies and took a family in Compton hostage before surrendering about three hours later.

A third defendant, William Vasquez, was convicted separately of the murders of Hernandez and Bonilla, along with three other killings. Jurors deadlocked in January on whether to recommend a death sentence or life in prison without the possibility of parole, and a new jury is expected to be asked to consider the same issue.


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