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La Habra man convicted of murder in 2019 killing of man found in burning car in Pomona

A La Habra man was convicted of murder in the killing of a man found fatally shot and burned in his car in Pomona, authorities said.

Prosecutors said defendant Gerardo Jesus Zendejas, 30, was romantically involved with the same woman as the victim.

On Thursday, Aug. 12, jurors convicted Zendejas of first-degree murder and shooting from a motor vehicle, the Pomona Police Department said. He was found guilty in the killing of 28-year-old David Phillip Pena of Pomona on Sept. 20, 2019, in the 1300 block of South Park Avenue.

Evidence presented during the trial proved that Zendejas and Pena were romantically involved with the same woman, said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Zendejas drove from La Habra to Pomona and murdered Pena, Santiago said.

Pena was found dead inside his burning car by Pomona police and Los Angeles County Fire Department personnel with multiple gunshot wounds. The gunshots reportedly caused Pena’s car to ignite, authorities said.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office determined Pena died as a result of shotgun wounds to the chest, not the fire.

Zendejas faces life in prison without parole and will be sentenced on Sept. 23 at the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse in Pomona.


Source: Orange County Register

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