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Man convicted of murdering Coachella teenager

By KESQ & CBS Local 2 News Staff, newsline3@kesq.com
City News Service
Published On: Apr 01 2014 05:37:57 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 01 2014 05:38:16 PM CDT
Angel Anthony Esparza

Angel Anthony Esparza

INDIO, Calif. -

Jurors came to a verdict last week regarding a 2009 murder case in Coachella, but the decision was sealed by the court until Tuesday.

Angel Anthony Esparza, 30, has been convicted of killing 16-year-old Angel Luna. Luna was shot to death outside the Boys & Girls Club in Coachella on December 3, 2009.

But, the announcement came with the declaration of a mistrial regarding two additional murder charges Esparza faces from December 19, 2009.

Jurors deadlocked 9-3 in favor of guilt for the killings of Gregorio Juarez and Pedro Garcia in Thermal. The jury had been deliberating since last week but were unable to reach an agreement. 

A trial readiness conference has been scheduled for April, 25. 

Esparza faces special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, murder during the commission of a robbery and murder in the commission of a
kidnapping for the second two counts, making him eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Esparza's sentencing date for the murder of Angel Luna is also scheduled for April, 25.

More Details of the Trial

Jurors have come to a verdict on one murder charge but they have deadlocked on two others. A judge asked the jury to resume deliberations at 2 p.m. to see if they can come to an agreement, but they haven't been able to do so. 

The jury is reconvening Thursday at 10 a.m. to continue deliberations. The verdict that's been agreed upon hasn't been announced  yet.

Along with three counts of murder, Esparza faces special circumstance allegations of multiple murders, murder during the commission of a robbery and murder in the commission of a kidnapping. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

Follow KESQ/CBS Local 2 News as the trial develops.