Gunman in Silver Lake Pizza Delivery Driver Slaying Sentenced to Prison

Juan David Vasquez Loma was driving two co-workers home in August 2011 when he was shot in the head

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    A co-worker describes a pizza delivery driver who was shot and killed in Silver Lake nearly two years ago. The gunman was sentenced Friday to 77 years to life in prison. Annette Arreola reports for the NBC4 News at Noon from downtown Los Angeles on Friday Jan. 18, 2013.

    A man convicted in the 2011 shooting death of a pizza delivery driver in Silver Lake was sentenced Friday in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom to 77 years to life in prison.

    A road-rage confrontation at an intersection led to the Aug. 7, 2011 encounter between Juan David Vasquez Loma, 25, and the convicted gunman, 19-year-old Jose Beltran.

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    Beltran was convicted in September of second-degree murder and other charges in connection with the shooting on Silver Lake Boulevard near Scott Place. Loma was shot in the head as he drove two co-workers home.

    He was hospitalized before his death on Aug. 14, 2011, about one week after the shooting.

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    Beltran faced 50 years to life in prison.The judge denied a defense request for a new trial.

    "Whether he gets parole at (age) 97, that will be up to the parole board,'' Judge Clifford L. Klein said.

    Beltran also was convicted on two counts of attempted murder involving two of Loma's co-workers who were passengers in his car. They were not struck by gunfire.

    Friends described Loma, who worked at El Chavo restaurant five days a week before going to his second job, delivering for Garage Pizza until 4 a.m., as a hard worker who sent money to his mother in Mexico. Most of Loma's family lives in Mexico City.

    Loma's two passengers at the time of the shooting delivered victim impact statements at the sentencing. Cameras were not allowed in the courtroom, but co-workers spoke after the proceedings outside the courtroom.

    "Even if you were angry about something and you weren't feeling good about yourself, when he was around -- between his joking and signing and good spirit -- he'd just lift you up," said co-worker Kevin Ramsey.

    Loma was traveling on Effie Street toward Silver Lake Boulevard when he encountered another driver, investigators said. The driver of the other vehicle stopped and waited at an intersection, but Loma drove around his vehicle and continued on Silver Lake Boulevard.

    The driver began yelling and Loma slowed to allow him to pass, investigators said. That's when Beltran opened fire, police said.

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