Filipino Gang Leader Gets Life Without Parole

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LOS ANGELES — A jury recommended on Monday life in prison without parole for a former Asian Boyz gang member convicted of eight Los Angeles-area killings and 10 counts of attempted murder.

The jury, composed of seven women and five men, convicted Marvin Mercado on Feb. 16 of eight murders carried out primarily in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys in 1995 and 1996, but spared him of the death penalty.

Mercado, now 37, had fled to the Philippines under an assumed name in 1997 and married into a socially prominent family. He was arrested at his Quezon City condominium unit 10 years later in 2007 and extradited to Los Angeles to stand trial.

Mercado, who eluded the long arm of the law for more than a decade, is scheduled to return to the downtown Los Angeles Superior Courthouse March 30 for formal sentencing by Judge Robert J. Perry.

Marvin Mercado used to run with the notorious Asian Boyz in Van Nuys. In 1995 that gang killed eight people – including three teenage boys they had mistaken for gang rivals.