Luis Santillan Valdes Sentenced to Life in State Prison for Murder

Luis Santillan Valdes of Duarte, 42-years old, was sentenced to 91 years and eight months to life in state prison for killing his neighbor, shooting another and pointing a gun at several other individuals before fleeing from deputies. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced he has been charged with seven felony counts: one count each of first-degree murder, attempted murder and fleeing a pursuing a peace officer’s motor vehicle while driving and four counts of assault with a firearm.

 

The jury also found true special allegations that the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a firearm, which caused great bodily injury and death during the crime. The Deputy DA Vanessa Alfaro, prosecuting the case, said that on the evening of August 19th, 2016, the victim Gabriel De La Torre invited his neighbor, Mr. Valdes, and several others to drink alcohol in his backyard. Valdes became offended at a remark, angry that the group was laughing at him, left, and returned with a gun and fatally shot De la Torre, 32. He then pointed his gun at the other two men and shot one of them, and as he walked to the front of the house, he pointed his firearm at three other people, according to the prosecutor.

The defendants family alerted the authorities as Valdes fled the scene. Upon arriving, the police were given descriptions about the attack and of the defendant’s car. Police located Valdes as he was driving, and he refused to pull over. He eventually stopped alongside the 210 Freeway off-ramp in Azusa and was taken into custody. The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.