No death penalty for P.R. mass killer

March 25, 2013 at 8:04 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, March 25 (UPI) -- A gunman who killed eight people, including a pregnant woman, at a bar in Puerto Rico in 2009 will serve life in prison, authorities said Monday.

Alexis Candelario-Santana, 41, will formally be given the life sentence with no chance for parole June 21 after a jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision on the death penalty Saturday, the U.S. attorney's office said in a release Monday.

Besides those who died, 19 people were wounded in "La Tombola Massacre" Oct. 17, 2009, during which hundreds of shots were fired

Candelario-Santana was convicted March 8 of 28 counts of violent crime in aid of racketeering activity, one count of racketeering conspiracy, nine counts of using a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance and one count of possession of a firearm with a prior conviction.

Candelario-Santana was the leader of a drug-trafficking organization that operated in Sabana Seca from 1993-2003. He was alleged to have either personally killed, or ordered others to kill, 13 people he viewed as threats or disloyal.

Candelario-Santana was arrested in 2002 and charged with various killings, but authorities said he continued to lead the organization from jail until fellow gang members Carmelo Rondon-Feliciano and Wilfredo Semprit-Santana took over.

Authorities said Candelario-Santana was released from prison in February 2009 and that fall staged the attack on La Tombola, a pub Semprit-Santana just opened in Toa Baja.

Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Minnesota dentist says he regrets killing Cecil the lion
At least 2,000 migrants in France try to enter Channel Tunnel to England
Islamic State militants repelled in counter-attack on Ramadi university
Rep. Mark Meadows seeks ouster of John Boehner as speaker
Florida man accused of Islamic State-inspired attack at beach