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Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Gangster Killer Bloods leader Victor "Little Vic" Lopez, 26, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the shooting death of Edwin "Dino"Andino


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Gangster Killer Bloods leader Victor "Little Vic" Lopez, 26, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in the March 25, 2005, shooting death of Edwin "Dino" Andino. Andino, 19, was gunned down at Walnut and Houghton avenues in Trenton. Lopez, a captain in the Gangster Killer Bloods, said he told two co-defendants who were soldiers in the gang to open fire on the corner while he waited in a van. But Lopez, answering questions posed by his lawyer, Bruce Throckmorton, the judge and assistant prosecutor, said he had a personal dispute with people hanging around on that corner, rather than a gang-related vendetta. Asked by Assistant Prosecutor Skylar Weissman what his rank was in the gang, Lopez said that he was a "five star."
Lopez will be sentenced in February to 15 years in prison and must serve at least 12 3/4 years before he can be released, Superior Court Judge Thomas Kelly said. The sentence will run concurrently with a 71-month federal sentence Lopez incurred in 2005 for carrying an Uzi semi-automatic weapon and wearing a bulletproof vest.
"He could have gotten 30 to life (in prison) or he could have been found guilty of aggravated manslaughter as well," said Weissman. "In a situation like this there are no winning sides. A 19-year-old young man was killed. You see the fact all the young players who played a part in this have their lives ruined and there's no winners on either side. And he'll be spending 15 long, hard years in jail. Hopefully, he'll think every day of the pain and suffering he brought to the victim's family."
After a hearing Friday, Kelly had ruled that damaging audiotapes of phone calls made by another inmate on Lopez' behest to tamper with witnesses could be played to the jury at the trial. Weissman argued the tapes showed evidence Lopez realized his guilt. Meanwhile, murder charges remain pending against alleged shooters Bruce "Black Magic" Duette, 27, and Anthony "Ace" Coleman, 21, both of Trenton. Their trial date is set for Dec. 1. While Lopez will not be required to testify against Duette or Coleman, he told Kelly he ordered them to open fire on the street corner knowing that someone might be killed. Under the terms of his plea agreement, he will also not testify for the defense.


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