Asian Boyz Leader Denied Review of Murder Convictions

Asian Boyz gang leader Marvin Mercado was denied California Supreme Court review of his conviction for eight murders committed during a 1-year spree in 1995 and 1996 in the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys.

Mercado was sentenced in March of 2011 to eight life terms for the killings of various rival Latino and Asian gang members as well as several non-gang-related victims between April 1995 and March 1996. His contentions of errors by the trial court had been rejected by the Appellate Court for the Second District in December.

On Wednesday the California Supreme Court declined to review the case, ending all routine appeals.

After the killings Mercado had fled to his native Philippines with his brother Pierre in 1996. While he was in hiding seven members of the Van Nuys branch of the Asian Boyz gang — Buntheon Roeung, Sothi Menh, David Evangelista, Roatha Buth, Son Thanh Bui, Ky Tony Ngo and Kimorn Nuth — were tried, convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in June 1999.

Mercado was arrested in 2007 in the Philippines where he had married into a prominent family and was living under an alias. He was extradited to Los Angeles in July of 2010. At his trial Mercado argued that he had no direct involvement in any of the killings. Deputy District Attorney Hoon Chun told jurors that Mercado either pulled the trigger or was an active accomplice. He is known to have been the driver in the 1995 El Monte car-to-car shooting that resulted in the deaths of three men mistaken for members of a rival Taiwanese gang.

In addition to the eight counts of first-degree murder, Mercado was also convicted of 10 counts of attempted murder. Jurors recommended that he be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole rather than be given the death penalty. He was sentenced to eight consecutive life terms.

Mercado’s brother Pierre was also extradited and was convicted last year of the first-degree murders of four Vietnamese men and sentenced to 218 years to life in state prison. His appeal is still pending.