Saturday, 5 May 2012

Oakland gang member sent to prison for at least 75 years for killing man because of red hat

Francisco Hernandez will spend the rest of his life in prison, a judge ruled Friday, for killing Marco Casillas and almost killing Casillas's girlfriend just because Casillas was wearing a red baseball hat. Saying the murder and attempted murder was "callous and vicious," Alameda County Superior Court Judge Gloria Rhynes said Hernandez deserves nothing less than the maximum punishment allowed under law after a jury found him guilty of several felonies for the killing. Rhynes sentenced Hernandez to 75 years to life in prison, a punishment that will not make Hernandez eligible for parole until he is 94 years old. Hernandez killed Casillas, 19, in September 2008 as Casillas and his girlfriend walked the girlfriend's dog on a residential street in the Fruitvale neighborhood in a case that Deputy District Attorney Tim Wellman described as a battle between love and hate. Casillas was wearing a red Philadelphia Phillies baseball cap, a color associated with a rival gang to the gang Hernandez belonged to. The couple had just embraced when Hernandez ran up behind them with an assault rifle and began firing shots at Casillas. Once Casillas hit the ground, Hernandez fired numerous shots at Casillas's girlfriend. Casillas died from his wounds, but the girlfriend survived and became a key witness in the trial as she identified Hernandez as the killer from the witness stand.


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