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Thursday, 2 June 2011

Border Brothers gang member will spend the rest of his life in prison


03:04 |

Border Brothers gang member will spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury decided Wednesday that he killed two people in two separate incidents because he believed they were members of a rival gang.
The jury of six men and six women found Ivan Ordaz, 30, guilty of five different felonies charged against him for the Sept. 1, 2007, killings, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle and being a felon in possession of a gun.
In addition, the jury found Ordaz guilty of two special circumstance crimes, committing multiple murders and killing to promote a gang. As a result, he will be sentenced in August to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
"Maybe this will show other gang members that you can't get away with murder," said Alicia Melero, the mother of Tomas Melero-Smith, 19, one of the victims. "It's a relief that he won't be able to hurt another family like he did ours."
Melero-Smith, a recreation leader with the city of Oakland, was hanging out with friends in the 2100 block of 94th Avenue about 6:30 p.m. when Ordaz drove by with another gang member and saw the group, evidence in the case proved.
Thinking the group belonged to a rival gang, Ordaz jumped out of the car, ran up to the group and shot Melero-Smith, killing him.
The jury found Ordaz guilty of first-degree murder for the Melero-Smith killing, convinced that he thought about and planned the slaying.
However, the jury found that wasn't quite the case in the killing of Allan Mejia, 22, who Ordaz fatally shot just 17 hours before he killed Melero-Smith.
Mejia was killed as he rode in a car that got trapped in a sideshow near the corner of 90th and Bancroft avenues. Other members of the Border Brothers began attacking the car, and Ordaz arrived after the attack began.
As his fellow gang members engaged in the fight, Ordaz ran up and fired shots into the car, believing his fellow gang members were in a fight with rival gang members. Mejia was hit by several bullets and died.
The jury found Ordaz guilty of second-degree murder for that killing.
Oakland police were able to find witnesses to both killings who identified Ordaz as the shooter and after his arrest, Ordaz admitted the killings to police detectives, evidence in the case revealed.
Neither Melero-Smith nor Mejia were gang members.
"Both these victims were innocent," said deputy district attorney John Brouhard. "Their families have waited a long time for justice, and we are happy they got justice today."
Another gang member, Jose Castillon who is charged with murder for driving Ordaz to the scene of the Melero-Smith killing, is scheduled to go to trial before a jury this summer.


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