A Downtown Los Angeles jury convicted a Newhall man of 12 counts Tuesday in connection with a pair of shootings in November 2017.
Monolito Guerra, 35, was found guilty on all charges facing him, including attempted murder, as well as allegations that a gun was used in his crimes, according to Deputy District Attorney Eric Siddall of the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office.
Guerra is facing multiple life sentences when he’s due back in court for his next hearing, June 21.
Guerra was found by Deputy Albert White of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station while the officer was investigating a report of a carjacking at gunpoint in a Newhall apartment complex. White was canvassing the parking lot in search of the suspect when he saw Guerra, who was hiding in the backseat under a sunshade.
White ordered Guerra out of the car, and instead of complying, Guerra sprang at White while firing and striking the deputy in the neck, according to the evidence presented at trial.
In the ensuing shootout with deputies on the scene who were backing up White, Guerra was struck at least five times, leaving him confined to a wheelchair.
Guerra’s attorney, Tony McAuley from the county public defender’s office, argued the deputies who responded to the scene, including White, ignored policy and their accounts of the evening called the integrity of their actions into question.
The jury of eight women and four men disagreed.
Siddall said during the trial that Guerra’s crime spree really started four days earlier, with Guerra shooting at a family of four in Northridge during a road-rage incident.
In both incidents, the San Fernando Valley shooting and the one four days later, on Bottletree Lane in Newhall, Siddall said, it’s a miracle that no one was killed.
Siddall shared pictures with the jury that showed where a bullet struck a baby’s car seat that had a baby in it during the Northridge shooting. He said the quick-thinking actions of White’s fellow deputies probably saved two lives.
Siddall also told the jury that the shootings were investigated by two separate agencies, the Los Angeles Police Department, for the first incident, and sheriff’s Sgt. Scott Matlock of the Homicide Bureau, who investigated the deputy-involved incident as a matter of L.A. County Sheriff’s Department policy.
Ballistics evidence presented at trial linked four rounds to the gun Guerra fired in the Newhall shooting, which matched the bullet found in the backseat of the car from the Northridge incident.
“Considering the amount of rounds that these guys had on them and the amount of deputies that were present during this shooting — first, I think the deputies should be commended for their restraint; second for their prompt response and ensuring that Monolito Guerra got the appropriate medical care,” Siddall said. “And because of how fast they acted, in terms of apprehending the suspect, I think they were responsible for saving his life as well.”