California

Two people will be sentenced for the 1993 murder of 10 people after they set fire to a building

Two drug dealers appeared in one California court Friday for the murders of 10 people in a 1993 Westlake apartment arson attack Los Angeles.

Johanna Lopez and Joseph Monge appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court before Judge Curtis B. Rappe on murder charges in connection with a fire that killed 10 people and injured more than 40.

Lopez was arrested in 2011 and pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2020. Monge was arrested in 2017 along with maker Ramiro Valerio for conspiracy to commit murder. Monge pleaded guilty in 2020 to one count of voluntary manslaughter and surrendered to his gang, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.

The hearing was adjourned until Aug. 5 to give attorneys for Lopez and Monge enough time to file papers to reduce their sentences.

Johanna Lopez appeared in court today for the first time in years, after she was found in connection with the 1993 Los Angeles apartment fire that killed 10 people.

Joseph Monge appeared on Friday in connection with the fire in Los Angeles

Joseph Monge appeared on Friday in connection with the fire in Los Angeles

Joseph Monge appeared on Friday in connection with the fire in Los Angeles

Residents of the building threw children out the window in the hope that they would be caught. The man in the photo above, saw a dead child in front of the building

Residents of the building threw children out the window in the hope that they would be caught. The man in the photo above, saw a dead child in front of the building

Residents of the building threw children out the window in the hope that they would be caught. The man in the photo above, saw a dead child in front of the building

The fire killed 10 tenants - including two pregnant women. About 40 people were injured and 100 more displaced

The fire killed 10 tenants - including two pregnant women. About 40 people were injured and 100 more displaced

The fire killed 10 tenants – including two pregnant women. About 40 people were injured and 100 more displaced

Residents tried to jump out the windows to save their lives. A medical technician is seen in the photo near the body of a pregnant woman who was one of 10 to die

Residents tried to jump out the windows to save their lives. A medical technician is seen in the photo near the body of a pregnant woman who was one of 10 to die

Residents tried to jump out the windows to save their lives. A medical technician is seen in the photo near the body of a pregnant woman who was one of 10 to die

In the hallway of the complex, fire was stopped to a mattress and quickly spread. The case was not resolved for years until Lopez police arrested him as a suspect

In the hallway of the complex, fire was stopped to a mattress and quickly spread. The case was not resolved for years until Lopez police arrested him as a suspect

In the hallway of the complex, fire was stopped to a mattress and quickly spread. The case was not resolved for years until Lopez police arrested him as a suspect

Monge was presumably recruited by Lopez to commit the act

Monge was presumably recruited by Lopez to commit the act

Monge was presumably recruited by Lopez to commit the act

Valerio was convicted of 12 murders last month and was sentenced to life in prison without parole – despite allegations that he did not put out the fire.

Meanwhile, another unknown person would be responsible for the fire, but fled to Mexico, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The street where the apartment complex sat was located at 330 S. Burlington Ave.

Officials said in 2017 that Lopez paid a street gang for the right to distribute cocaine in the area, and planned with Monge and Valerio to set the building on fire, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Lopez testified that she gave Valerio thousands of dollars a week because she allowed her to staff the street with drug dealers. At the time of the fire, Valerio was making $ 25,000.

The arrests of the suspects were delayed until years later, as residents of the building refused to answer police about the fire due to fear of local gang members. Some agreed to come forward and testify in 2017, more than 20 years after the fire.

Isabela Diego (pictured above) held her son in her arms after she dropped her two children out of the window

Isabela Diego (pictured above) held her son in her arms after she dropped her two children out of the window

Isabela Diego (pictured above) held her son in her arms after she dropped her two children out of the window

The apartment building remains standing and can be seen in the photo taken in June 2022

The apartment building remains standing and can be seen in the photo taken in June 2022

The apartment building remains standing and can be seen in the photo taken in June 2022

The fire of May 3, 1993, was suspected to have sparked the suspicions, after the apartment manager wanted to stop drug trafficking in the building. Lopez said Romero and Valerio said they would handle it.

The manager of the apartment was moving to a unit on the second floor when a mattress in the hallway caught fire.

The flames spread rapidly as immigrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico attempted to escape death by jumping out of windows and climbing higher stories with bound bed lines.

Children were dropped from the second and third stories in hopes that they would be caught underneath. Children between the ages of 15 months to 11 years died.

After the deadly fire, two men were charged in connection with the fire, but the case was dropped due to lack of evidence.

The 10 people killed in the fire included Olga Leon, 24, and her three children, Alejandrina Roblero, 29, and her three children, Rosalia Ruiz, 21, and Lancy Mateo, 1.

Leon and Ruiz were pregnant at the time of their deaths.

The hearing was adjourned until August 5 to give Lopez and Monge's lawyers enough time to file papers to reduce their sentences.

The hearing was adjourned until August 5 to give Lopez and Monge's lawyers enough time to file papers to reduce their sentences.

The hearing was adjourned until August 5 to give Lopez and Monge’s lawyers enough time to file papers to reduce their sentences.

Ramiro Valerio, one of the three suspects arrested in the deadly fire that killed ten people in 2003

Ramiro Valerio, one of the three suspects arrested in the deadly fire that killed ten people in 2003

Joesph Monge, was arrested in 2017 in connection with the fire

Joesph Monge, was arrested in 2017 in connection with the fire

Ramiro Valerio (left) and Joesph Monge (right) were arrested in 2017 in connection with the 1993 fire. Apartment owners at the time refused to tell police what they knew for fear of revenge by local gangs.

Johanna Lopez, 51, recruited Valerio and Monge to help set the complex on fire after the apartment manager tried to close drug trafficking in the area.

Johanna Lopez, 51, recruited Valerio and Monge to help set the complex on fire after the apartment manager tried to close drug trafficking in the area.

Johanna Lopez, 51, recruited Valerio and Monge to help set the complex on fire after the apartment manager tried to close drug trafficking in the area.

Valerio was thought to be an FBI informant after the fire, according to The Times. He denied any connection to the fire, but his reports resulted in the arrest of Columbia Lol Cycos boss Francisco ‘Puppet’ Martinez.

Gang members and drug dealers eventually came forward and admitted that Valerio had discussed the possibility of lighting a fire in the apartment as a message to the manager. He was arrested later in 2017 at his work in Santa Clarita.

Two people will be sentenced for the 1993 murder of 10 people after they set fire to a building Source link Two people will be sentenced for the 1993 murder of 10 people after they set fire to a building

Related Articles

Back to top button