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Saturday, June 16, 2012

San Francisco: Couple Perform Heroic Public Service, Only to be Indicted for Murder

By Nicholas Stix

If this story proves to be true, and the police had refused to help this couple rescue their underaged daughter from a pimp, and the parents then killed him, not only can no decent jury convict them, but they deserve the keys to the city.

The argument against the parents can't be the necessity of the rule of law, because there is no rule of law in San Francisco. As one reader pointed out, illegal aliens are not obliged to obey the laws there.

[Thanks to all of the readers who sent me links to this story.]
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S.F. couple kill daughter's alleged pimp, cops say
By Vivian Ho,Jaxon Van Derbeken
Thursday, June 14, 2012, 4:00 a.m.
San Francisco Chronicle


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More Crime News
Chowchilla kidnapper Richard Schoenfeld paroled 06.15.12
Jehovah's Witnesses lose big Fremont molest suit 06.15.12
Occupy activists heckle judge in elder-theft case 06.15.12
Investigators probe fire; BART back to normal 06.15.12

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A San Francisco couple whose teenage daughter was allegedly being pimped by a Southern California man tracked him around the state, failing at one attempt to kill him before shooting him to death near Candlestick Park, authorities said Wednesday.

Attorneys for the couple say that they tried everything to rescue their daughter from Calvin Sneed, a 22-year-old alleged gang member from Compton (Los Angeles County), but that they didn't kill him.

Prosecutors, however, say that when Barry Gilton and his longtime girlfriend, Lupe Mercado, couldn't get their 17-year-old daughter back through legitimate means, they turned to premeditated murder.

Gilton, 38, and Mercado, 37, appeared in court Wednesday on murder and other charges for allegedly shooting Sneed in the Bayview neighborhood in the early hours of June 4.

The couple have been together since middle school and live with their three other children in San Francisco. Their daughter disappeared some time ago and after searching for her, Gilton and Mercado discovered that she was turning tricks and that Sneed was her pimp, their attorneys said.

"They had gone out to local police agencies, agencies in Southern California - they had even tried talking to national organizations," said Eric Safire, Gilton's attorney. "Every place they turned to turned them away."

L.A. shooting
Eventually, they found out that the girl and Sneed were in North Hollywood, San Francisco police Officer David Nakasu said in the criminal complaint. On May 27, someone fired a 9 mm pistol into Sneed's car, and police believe that it was either Gilton or Mercado.

The complaint says Sneed was hit at least once. However, Los Angeles police Detective Thomas Townsend said Wednesday that none of the several rounds a single shooter fired into the car hit Sneed.

The shooter escaped, police said.

The couple's lawyers say their daughter accompanied Sneed to the hospital after the May 27 incident.

On June 4, Sneed was in San Francisco, driving his Toyota Camry at Meade and LeConte avenues at 2 a.m., when someone - prosecutors say it was Gilton - shot him with a .40-caliber handgun. Sneed crashed into a parked car and died a short time later at San Francisco General Hospital.

A few hours later, police questioned the girl at the Bayview Station, Safire said. On Saturday, her parents were arrested.

The daughter is staying with family members, as are Gilton and Mercado's three other children.

Sneed was a victim of a drive-by shooting in South Los Angeles last year, according to Los Angeles police. An appeal filed in a murder case involving a friend of his said that both the friend and Sneed were members of the Nutty Block Crip street gang.

Sneed's family could not be reached for comment.

Court appearance
Gilton and Mercado appeared in San Francisco Superior Court on Wednesday as at least 15 relatives and friends, many weeping, looked on. Mercado's dark hair was in braids and her eyes large and fearful as the couple's arraignments were postponed to next week.

Their family declined to comment outside court, but their attorneys described the couple as lifelong San Francisco residents who have been dating since their teens.

"The motive is all they (prosecutors) have, as far as we're concerned," said Tony Tamburello, Mercado's attorney. "This would not be the first time the police and prosecutors got it wrong."

Gilton, a former high school basketball star, was convicted in 1995 of drug dealing and possession. He and Mercado face charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and one count of discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle. Gilton was also charged with possession of a firearm as a felon.

D.A. confident
Alex Bastian, a spokesman for the district attorney, denied that the charges were based purely on motive.

"San Francisco police have thoroughly investigated this case, and the investigation is not limited to San Francisco," he said. "We would not charge a case unless we had a good-faith basis that we could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt."

If convicted, Mercado faces 25 years to life in prison. Gilton could be sentenced to life without parole.

They are each held being held in lieu of $2 million bail.

Vivian Ho and Jaxon Van Derbeken are San Francisco Chronicle staff writers. E-mail: vho@sfchronicle.com, jvanderbeken@sfchronicle.com. Twitter: @VivianHo, @Jvanderbeken

This article appeared on page A - 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle



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vociferous
7:25 PM on June 13, 2012

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While murder is murder, it is hard for me to garner much sympathy for the victim.

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philogynist
7:25 PM on June 13, 2012

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It's condoning vigilantism, but if I'm the police, this is one case where I consciously look the other way and pretend I didn't see anything.

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FranknStein
8:21 PM on June 13, 2012

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Make sure you ask for a jury trial.

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angryyoungman
8:31 PM on June 13, 2012

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While the police aren't looking the other way on this incident, they sure looked the other way while Sneed was pimping out the daughter.

One thing the police & DAs hate more than crime: Having someone else do their job for them. They think it makes them look bad, so they prosecute those who go after criminals.

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snippie
8:45 PM on June 13, 2012

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Sadly they tried the legitimate routes with local police and other agencies. It's pretty sad if none of them did a thing to help recover their minor daughter being used in gang prostitution. At least a few other parents may be spared from losing their daughter to this pimp.

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guerejo
9:57 PM on June 13, 2012

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It's done all the time. Why not now, when justice has finally been served after another gang thug destroyed another young life.

I have very little regard for our legal system. Hopefully they'll receive jury nullification and walk.

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ThisIsNotMe
10:29 PM on June 13, 2012

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Its San Francisco. They only look the other way when you are an illegal immigrant so that illegal immigrant can go on to assassinate an entire family.

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WhatsAUsername
10:35 PM on June 13, 2012

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They went to the police and they didn't do anything...is it still vigilantism then? No one else would do anything.

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billstewart2
11:34 PM on June 13, 2012

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It's not like this is the only pimp or underage prostitute in the city, or even the only one who doesn't have an arrangement with the Vice Squad.

But dead bodies they have to deal with, and people shooting other people on the street they have to deal with, and while they may sympathize with the couple who killed him and think the victim deserved it, they still have to prosecute.

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EqualRights
11:39 PM on June 13, 2012

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I understand the sentiment. But killing a guy won't fix the daughter's problems. In fact, this will make things worse for her as her parents face jail. One "pimp" down, thousands more to go. The problem primarily resides with the daughter who now has new problems.

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tipster
11:58 PM on June 13, 2012

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The daughter has no problems at all. If I'm on that jury, these two walk.

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looneyjackisbak
1:40 AM on June 14, 2012

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I don't have much of a problem with condoning vigilantism. Our justice system is screwed up all the way to the Supreme Court. My main problem with vigilantes is that some of them are not careful and meticulous enough, and end up harming innocent people, which is unacceptable whether it's a cop or a revenge-seeker firing the bullet.

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YouAreNotFromSF
2:46 AM on June 14, 2012

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Would I do a life sentence to liberate my daughter from this kind of life (hopefully permanently)?

Of course I would. So, police looking the other way wouldn't even be part of the equation.

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run26miles
5:47 AM on June 14, 2012

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They shouldn't be charged with a crime, they should be given a parade and celebrated as hero's!!!!

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dweston
5:58 AM on June 14, 2012

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Self Defense of the family. Nothing more important then that. Laws should be to support that mission. Charge them with discharging a weapon, the pimp was just in the wrong place ( in many ways).

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lemoneyleaf
6:26 AM on June 14, 2012

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"while they may sympathize with the couple who killed him and think the victim deserved it, they still have to prosecute"

Sure, but maybe they could hire the hot dog vendor out front of the court house to argue the prosecution case. Think the defendants would sue that they didn't get a fair trial? Miss deadlines in the case. Lose the paper work. Make an illegal search so that the evidence is tainted. There are a hundred things a prosecutor can do to mess a case up. I know I sure would.

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Nixon
7:23 AM on June 14, 2012

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If only the police forgot to read them their rights!

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Citytrucker
8:47 AM on June 14, 2012

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Not really. And like the Ellie Nestler case mentioned above, the vigilantes in this case turn out to have significantly dysfunctional lives too, which probably contributed to their daughter's situation.

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angryyoungman
2:00 PM on June 14, 2012

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Perrhaps--but this case is different from Nestler. Here, the abuse was still going on and the killing was to make it stop. With Nestler, the abuse (but not the damage) had ended well in the past.

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sfredanddead
7:29 PM on June 13, 2012

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The jury might have a hard time convicting these two.

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VERUM
8:10 PM on June 13, 2012

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Unless they are all pimps.

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ala69xyz
8:48 PM on June 13, 2012

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If I was on the jury they would. Bare minimum, hung jury.

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SameDifference
9:50 PM on June 13, 2012

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If there were ever a case that cries out for jury nullification, this one should certainly qualify!
http://www.letsgetfreethebook.com/jurorsforjustice/powertothepeople-whatisjurynullification.html

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EqualRights
11:41 PM on June 13, 2012

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Killijg someone won't erase the girl's problems. In fact, it could make them worse.

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candy_apple_red
4:47 AM on June 14, 2012

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equal, you may be right....you may be wrong.
BUT.... it will certainly stop any other young ladies from being prostitutes for THIS jerk.

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undrgrndgirl
8:00 AM on June 14, 2012

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let's not forget that ellie nestler (who killed her son's "accused" molester) got 10 years.

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undrgrndgirl
8:04 AM on June 14, 2012

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@same difference...wrong. jury nullification is about BAD LAWS...no one is going to nullify laws against murder. that this guy was a scumbag pimp is not relevant...unless we are going to enact special laws for vigilante killing of certain segments of society.

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roic
9:03 AM on June 14, 2012

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This is why it should be legalized, regulated and taxed. Eliminate the pimps, run it like Nevada does with little or no problems, no minors, less disease, no law enforcement costs, no court costs, no prison costs and taxes and jobs.

The US police/court/prison lobby have become true thugs in every sense of the word. They have made the US their base for causing havoc and mayhem throughout the world. It is not only violence, but severe economic and social damage they spread.
They started this reign of terror by handing over prostitution, gambling and drug industries their symbiotic partners the criminals who also profit handsomely from their reign of terror.
The law enforcement lobby knew from the outset these prohibitions would increase their business dramatically by unleashing an unprecedented long lasting wave of terror by their experience with the alcohol prohibition which made the Mafia. This experience showed beyond a shadow of a doubt their policies would not only fail, but create big money for both sides of the law and huge costs, heart break, ruined lives and an increasing disrespect for not only misguided laws, but the governments that backed them.
They have even co-opted the military and US intelligence services to extend this wave of terror world wide. It has corrupted not only law enforcement itself, but the governments in countries it operates.
The even greater problem is the attitude of arrogance, infallibility and a demand for blind obedience that is spreading like a cancer through every government involved.
These misguided, failing prohibitions have cost trillions of dollars, millions of lives, ruined governments and economies. On top of this, the people that created and profited from this mess want to be called heroes while they are nothing but thugs that prey on our freedoms and money.

California is broke and bankrupt and can no longer afford to play this expensive game. This spread of violence has cost civilian lives at a ratio of over a hundred to one over officers lives, which puts to rest the lie they are protecting us.

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lemoneyleaf
10:39 AM on June 14, 2012

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"that this guy was a scumbag pimp is not relevant"

It would be to me if I were on the jury. I would never vote to convict someone that killed a criminal, not even another criminal.

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WillfromSF
10:50 AM on June 14, 2012

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Particularly given that the police refused to intervene. How sucky is that?

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natnl_insecurty
11:16 AM on June 14, 2012

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Roic,
I don't think that pimping minors would ever be legal, do you? Note the age of the child in this case.

So legalizing prostitution - as they have done in some parts of the Netherlands - is a partial solution, but not a total solution.

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MonkeyUser
12:23 PM on June 14, 2012

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Lets hope so... assuming the story is true of course.

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metafauna
10:29 PM on June 14, 2012

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well said roic. What also gets me is all the overprotected types, now grown up, want to criminalize everything that bothers them, the parents of anyone whose child dies. I actually think that the police, the gov't in general are afraid that we, the public will get to a place where we just won't put up with it anymore, as conceding is worse than willing to fight for it. Our gov't has become a fascistic police state with over 20 agencies with police powers, none of them with public oversight, all of them with agendas that we aren't privey to. The legal system is a joke, a complexity of bs meant to be run by the new cardinals in this medieval redux, lawyers, justice for those with money, even a free ride for many.

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5 comments:

Danny Haszard said...

Reg;Jehovah Witness abuse court decision.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a policy within their religion that protects pedophiles.

The official policy is that the elders of the “Church” are supposed to handle the matter internally, without contacting the police. They do this so that shame will not be brought on the religion.

It’s important that they keep a squeaky clean image to the public. Remember they believe they are the only “True” religion and all other Christian Churches are under the control of Satan. JW’s are not supposed to sue other JW’s or involve the police or courts.

They believe these are Satan’s organizations and any crime by a JW should be dealt with internally.The elders will contact the police ONLY if they’re forced to by state law. Otherwise they are forced to follow official policy from headquarters. Some states require that “priests” or “pastors” report child abuse to the authorities. If they are not forced to report them than they cover it up.
You might actually get a unreported pedophile knocking on your door next time they show up peddling pamphlets and selling “Eternal Life".
--
Danny Haszard *tell the truth don't be afraid*

Lawful Neutral said...

Things I've learned from obsessively watching Law and Order reruns:
1)Blondes are extremely dangerous, as are mothers.
2)The real killer is never the thuggish minority that everyone suspects.
3)The system will happily cut deals with the worst scum, but if you ever try to take the law into your own hands it will not stop until it has ground you into paste.

Anonymous said...

Mr Stix, when I was a little kid there was a batch of lawlessness going on and the reaction to it was reflected in movies like the "Dirty Harry" series and the "Death Wish" series.

I guess those movies or the general message behind them helped me shape what I grew into-a wolfhound.

In a society where the police do their jobs, the courts and punishment systems work fairly there is no need for vigilantism, but we are far removed from the days where that was a reality.

I see absolutely nothing wrong with what the girl's parents did and I would do the same thing if I was in their shoes.

Not only would I do the same as they did if I end up on the jury I will vote "innocent" no matter what.

Those parents committed justifiable homicide, they are not killers or criminals. They tried everything to get the system to work but it doesn't, not now. They are not murderers, they do not fit any criminal profile which endangers anyone in the future, this was a simple act of justice, street justice.

I say, not only exonerate this couple, not only give them the keys to the city with a ticker tape parade, but make this couple advisers in the police department to make sure the cops, the courts, and the prisons do their god damn jobs from now on--or else!

Anonymous said...

Good shooting AND good riddance to bad rubbish.

Anonymous said...

Well, didn't Blacks let the murderer of an Australian Hasidic Jew student, Yankel Rosenbaum go after a jury trial, the killing that was instigated by Al Sharpton?

I say that if whitey isn't completely stupid, that they should do everything in their power to poison the jury pool, like blacks like doing.