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Gang Member Found Guilty of Double Murder for 2011 Venice Park Shooting

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By Paul Chavez
Venice Dispatch

A 22-year-old gang member accused of killing two teenagers in a June 2011 shooting at Penmar Park in Venice was found guilty Wednesday of all charges.

A jury returned guilty verdicts against Michael Anthony Mariscal, of Culver City, on two counts of first-degree premeditated murder along with the special circumstances of committing multiple murders and killing to benefit a street gang.

Mariscal opened fire June 22, 2011, about 4 p.m. on a group of teens sitting in baseball diamond bleachers at Penmar Park and killed Venice High School sophomore Alan Mateo and Venice Skills Center sophomore Salvador Diaz Jr., both 18.

Mariscal was found guilty following a week-long trial before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Antonio Barreto Jr.

A 21-year-old former Venice High School student and a softball player testified as eyewitnesses against Mariscal and identified him as the shooter in photo line-ups and in court.

Mariscal was ordered to return to court January 14 for sentencing.

He also was found guilty of being a felon in possession of a firearm and being an active gang member at the time of the crime.

The special circumstances of multiple murders and killing to benefit a street gang carry sentences of life in prison without the possbility of parole.

‘I am very pleased with the verdict. I think justice was served today,’ said Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Eugene Hanrahan of the Hardcore Gang Division outside of court. ‘And I feel terribly sorry for the family members of the victims.’

Prosecutors allege that Mariscal carried out the shooting to raise his notoriety within the Culver City Boyz street gang.

Mariscal wore a long-sleeved white dress shirt and tie with black trousers as the jury returned its verdict and let out a heavy sigh as he was lead away afer being found guilty.

He was represented by Deputy Public Defender Victor Escobedo during the trial.

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