Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Argument over drug money
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: August 9, 2006
Date of birth: 1977
Victim profile: Duane Bailey and Sonia Chandiramani
Method of murder: Shooting (.40-caliber pistol)
Location: Los Angeles County, California, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on September 3, 2010

Man gets death sentence for Harbor Gateway killings

September 3, 2010

A man who killed two people at a home in Harbor Gateway and permanently blinded another person was sentenced to death today.

Mila Johnson, 33, was convicted March 12 of two counts of first-degree murder for the Aug. 9, 2006, shooting deaths of Duane Bailey and Sonia Chandiramani, along with one count each of attempted murder and mayhem for the shooting of Glen Enriquez, who was left permanently blind and uses a guide dog.

A separate jury recommended in July that Johnson be sentenced to death. The first jury deadlocked on whether to recommend death or life in prison.

Norwalk Superior Court Judge Philip H. Hikok today rejected an automatic motion to reduce the jury's recommendation to life in prison without the possibility of parole, saying the aggravating circumstances in the case "absolutely warranted death."

Johnson, who testified in his own defense during his trial earlier this year, told jurors that he shot Bailey and Enriquez -- friends with whom he was staying -- because he feared for his own safety after they pulled guns on him in separate encounters, moments apart. He testified that he did not intend to shoot Chandiramani.

Johnson told jurors that Enriquez pulled a gun on him after he asked again for his share of the money -- $30,000 -- from a drug rip-off in which they were involved.

"Right when he made the movement, I felt my life was in danger," Johnson said. "I pulled it (the .40-caliber pistol) out and fired in Glen's direction."

He said he fired two shots at Enriquez, but denied firing at Chandiramani.

Johnson testified that he then went to Bailey's room to get belongings that were stored there, and that Bailey told him he wasn't going anywhere and emerged with a weapon.

"My assumption is he was turning around to point it at me," the defendant said, telling jurors that he shot Bailey twice out of fear for his own safety.


Jurors hear opening statements in Harbor Gateway murder case

February 18, 2010

A man was staying with longtime friends in Harbor Gateway when he shot and killed two of them and permanently blinded a third victim in an early morning attack in 2006, a prosecutor told jurors Thursday.

One of Mila Johnson's attorneys, Cynthia LeGardye, countered that her client was "acting in self-defense" when he shot and killed Duane Bailey and wounded Glen Enriquez, who was left permanently blind and uses a guide dog.

"The shot that hit Sonia was not intentional," the defense attorney said of Sonia Chandiramani, who was also killed in the Aug. 9, 2006, shooting.

Johnson is charged with two counts of murder for the deaths of Bailey and Chandiramani and one count each of attempted murder and mayhem for the shooting of Enriquez, along with the special circumstance allegation of multiple murders.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against the 32-year-old defendant.

Deputy District Attorney Dayan Mathai told the jury of nine men and three women that "the evidence will show that the defendant, Mila Johnson, betrayed and killed his closest friends" after being allowed to stay at their house in the Harbor Gateway area.

"About 2 o'clock in the morning, Mila Johnson made a fateful decision. He decided to go into Glen and Sonia's closed bedroom and steal. They were sleeping," Mathai told jurors in his opening statement.

The prosecutor said Johnson - armed with a .40-caliber pistol - began rifling through items on the couple's dresser and was asked by Enriquez what he was doing, prompting a brief argument.

Enriquez and his girlfriend were each shot in the head, and Bailey - also a longtime friend who was in another bedroom - was shot in the back before Johnson fled the home, Mathai said.

Ballistics testing linked a .40-caliber handgun that Johnson left at a cousin's home in Long Beach, where he had stayed after the shooting - the weapon was turned over to police by another cousin - to bullet casings found at the crime scene, according to the prosecutor.

Jurors will also hear testimony that Johnson's DNA was on the gun, the deputy district attorney said.

Johnson's attorney countered that the shootings were homicides, but that not all homicides are murder. "Some homicides are justifiable and excusable," LeGardye said.

She told jurors that the three men had known each other for years and were "all in the same gang" and came up with "a plan to rob a drug dealer" of a large amount of marijuana," with them netting 15 pounds of cannabis and Johnson expecting to get a share of the sales proceeds.

Johnson's attorney said Enriquez pulled a gun on her client, and that Bailey was not asleep and also had a gun.

She said the shootings in the 800 block of West 156th Street were "not intentional murder."



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