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FORT SMITH -- The last of four members of the Slangaz 96 gang who were charged in the death of a rival gang member was sentenced to 30 years in prison Thursday in Sebastian County Circuit Court.

Jorge Chirinos, 17, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Jan. 14 shooting death of 18-year-old Justin Lopez, a member of the Clout Boys gang. Based on a plea agreement, Circuit Judge Stephen Tabor sentenced Chirinos to 20 years in prison.

On a guilty plea to one count of committing a terroristic act that resulted in Lopez's death, Tabor sentenced Chirinos to 10 years in prison. The sentences will run consecutively, or one after the other.

Tabor also warned Chirinos that, because he was in the country illegally, the sentence will affect his immigration status, could block his ability to attain citizenship and could result in his deportation.

The short, thin Chirinos, wearing dark-framed glasses, spoke softly to Tabor during the brief sentencing hearing as he stood flanked by his attorney and state Public Defender Commission attorney Joseph Tobler, and surrounded by armed deputies. He wore the black uniform of juvenile detention, his hands cuffed to a waist chain, and had to shuffle around in court because he wore leg shackles.

Chirinos was accused -- along with Bryan Porras, 20, Alberto Chavez, 19, and Ryan Oxford, 20 -- of seeking out Lopez and finding him in a camper trailer parked in the backyard of 2315 N. Ninth St. on the night of Jan. 14.

Chirinos testified against his fellow gang members in their trials, telling the jury that he hoped to receive leniency for providing truthful testimony.

Porras, who led the search and drove the four to the alley behind the North Ninth Street home, was looking for Lopez for a slight Lopez may have made against the Slangaz 96 gang. The two gangs were enemies, according to testimony.

The four Slangaz gang members had an AR-15-style rifle that Oxford had bought and sold to Porras. Oxford also owned an AK-47-style rifle. Both weapons were in the car that night.

When they pulled up to the alley, Chavez grabbed the AR-15-style rifle, and Porras took the AK-47-style rifle. Porras walked into the yard far enough to satisfy himself that someone was inside the trailer, then yelled to start shooting.

Police found more than 40 spent shell casings in the alley and counted 22 bullet holes in the trailer. One round struck Lopez in the back of the head, killing him. Another Clout Boy gang member, Trey Miller, also was in the trailer, which belonged to his father. Miller was not hurt.

A state Crime Laboratory firearms and tool mark examiner testified that the fragment of bullet that killed Lopez was fired from the AR-15-style rifle.

Jurors viewed a video of Oxford's police interview in which he said he jumped into the driver's seat of Porras' car when the shooting started and drove the four away afterward.

A jury convicted Oxford last week of second-degree murder and seven counts of committing a terroristic act. Jurors recommended sentences for the offenses that totaled 78 years and that they be served concurrently, or all at the same time. In sentencing Oxford, Circuit Judge Michael Fitzhugh ordered the sentences to run consecutively.

A jury convicted Porras on Nov. 15 of first-degree murder and seven counts of committing a terroristic act. Based on the jury's recommendation, Fitzhugh sentenced Porras to 63 years in prison on the murder charge, lesser sentences for the terroristic-act charges and another 34 years, to run consecutively to the murder sentence, for violating suspended sentences he had received last year for five felony convictions.

Chavez was convicted Nov. 29 of second-degree murder and seven counts of committing a terroristic act. He was sentenced to 110 years in prison.


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State Desk on 12/29/2017

Print Headline: 30 years sentence for teen in killing; he pleads guilty in gang shooting

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