Two get life sentences for slaying of Salvadoran man

Two men were sentenced to life in prison last week for the 2007 gang slaying of a Salvadoran man.

Victoriano Luna-Diaz, 33, and Alexander Perez, 27, pleaded guilty in August to one count each of second-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery in the death of Jose Martinez, 24.

Martinez, who was suspected of being a member of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13 gang, was found shot to death on Kasper Avenue, near H Street, on July 29, 2007.

Luna-Diaz and Perez were sentenced Thursday to life in prison by District Judge Valorie Vega. Luna-Diaz will be eligible for parole after 21 years, and Perez will be eligible for parole after 20 years.

Luna-Diaz and Perez, with defendants Tonis Flores and Mario Canedo, accompanied Martinez to his apartment on Carey Avenue near Las Vegas Boulevard, where they searched for a gun, according to Las Vegas police.

Luna-Diaz and Perez then beat up Martinez, forced him into a car and drove with Flores and Canedo to H Street and Kasper, authorities said.

Witnesses told police that Perez and Luna-Diaz, who goes by the nickname “Toto,” then shot and killed Martinez, authorities said.

The crew also was accused of robbing a 7-Eleven store in the 2500 block of North Pecos Road, taking an 18-pack of Bud Light, and stealing a Chevrolet Camaro near Walnut and San Antonio avenues.

Flores and Canedo were sentenced last year.

Canedo pleaded guilty to neglect of safety of persons or property and in November was sentenced to 12 to 30 months in prison.

A jury in September found Flores guilty of six counts, including first-degree murder and kidnapping charges. He was found not guilty of six other counts, including armed robbery. He was sentenced to 38 years and seven months to life in prison.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@ or 702-380-1039.

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