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Friday, 1 July 2011

reputed gang member accused of fatally shooting two men at a Venice park was charged today with capital murder

22:35 |

reputed gang member accused of fatally shooting two men at a Venice park was charged today with capital murder and other crimes.

Michael Anthony Mariscal, 19, of Culver City, pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and one count each of street terrorism and possession of a firearm by a felon.

The murder charges include the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder carried out to further the activities of a criminal street gang. Prosecutors will decide whether to seek a death sentence.

The criminal complaint also alleges that Mariscal personally and intentionally discharged a handgun.

Mariscal -- who was ordered to be jailed without bail -- was arrested Tuesday in connection with the June 22 slayings of Salvador Diaz, 18, and Alan Mateo, 19, who were sitting in bleachers near a baseball diamond at Penmar Park in the 1300 block of Lake Street when Mariscal allegedly walked up, made gang references and opened fire, authorities said.

A third person -- described as a sophomore at Venice High -- was shot in the leg.

Two other teens escaped without injury, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Diaz had attended the Venice Skills Center and was already enrolled in a junior college, friends said.

Mateo had been scheduled to graduate last week from Venice High School.

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