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Gang Member Sentenced For 2009 Murder

— A gang member who shot an 18-year-old man in the head in rival gang territory last year was sentenced today to 32 years in prison.

Gregory Ambriz, 22, pleaded guilty Oct. 6 to voluntary manslaughter in the May 18, 2009, killing of Martin de la Torre, and admitted shooting at a car on Interstate 805 after a confrontation that started on state Route 94. No one was injured in that shooting, which occurred about an hour before de la Torre was killed but was unconnected to it.

Three other young men -- David S. Flores, his brother Daniel Flores, and Rogelio Leyva, pleaded guilty in earlier hearings to lesser charges in connection with de la Torre's death.

San Diego police Detective Jonathan Smith testified at a hearing in May that a month after the slaying, he went to a house in Tijuana to interview Carlos Gomez, who said he met Ambriz and his brother when they wanted to move into the home around the time of the killing.

Ambriz subsequently bragged to Gomez that he shot a man in the head in Logan Heights, Smith testified.

According to Gomez, Ambriz said de la Torre was "in the wrong place at the wrong time" when a car Ambriz was riding in pulled up next to the victim, who was riding a bicycle.

The detective testified that according to what Gomez said he was told by Ambriz, De la Torre said "This is Logan," to which the defendant responded, "(expletive) Logan. This is U.F.," then pulled out a gun and shot the victim in the head.

According to evidence produced at the preliminary hearing, de la Torre had a tattoo on his chest of a subset of a Logan gang.

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