A sheriff's deputy examines the contents of a backpack on the trunk of a radio car near the scene of a fatal shooting in Canyon Country on July 11, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

Gang member gets 60 years to life for gang shooting

A gang member who shot and killed a rival gang member two years ago was sentenced Wednesday to 60 years to life in prison.

Nicholas Colletta, 22, of Saugus, appeared in San Fernando Superior Court where he was sentenced to “60 years to life in state prison,” said Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

In November, a jury found Colletta guilty of first-degree murder in the July 2017 shooting death of Ivan Solis at Begonias Lane Park in Santa Clarita.

Colletta was found guilty of one count each of first-degree murder with the allegation that the crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang, possession of a firearm by a felon with three priors, unlawful possession of ammunition and carrying a loaded firearm.

Jurors also found true that the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a handgun and caused great bodily injury.

Co-defendant, fellow gang member and ex-girlfriend, Jacqueline Arreola, 26, of Newhall pleaded no contest on April 3 to one count of accessory after the fact. She testified as a witness in Colletta’s trial.

Deputy District Attorneys Adan Montalban and Brenda Lee of the Hardcore Gang Division prosecuted the case.

On July 11, 2017, Solis, 25, was shot to death at the park by Colletta after the defendant issued a gang challenge, prosecutors said. Following the shooting, both defendants fled the scene in a vehicle, prosecutors added.

Sentencing for Arreola is scheduled on May 20 in Department F of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, San Fernando Branch.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Santa Clarita Station.

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