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Trio convicted in death of Pettigrew receive sentences

 

Last updated 8/6/2018 at 6:24pm



FALLBROOK – Kevin Garcia, Tyler Dean and Ryan Valdez, the three Fallbrook gang members that in December were convicted of murder in the death Hugh Pettigrew III, received their prison sentences July 20 at the North County Superior Court in Vista.

The trio was found guilty by a jury of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of the 33-year-old Pettigrew, who was attacked while walking along the 400 block of Ammunition Road at approximately 10:45 p.m. Jan. 22, 2016. The assault, unprovoked, led the jury to find that the three defendants had committed the attack in furtherance of their Fallbrook gang.

Garcia, 23, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison plus one year because of a previous prison stay.

Dean, who had a previous strike on his record, received the longest sentence of 31 years to life. He is 28.

Valdez, 20, received 15 years to life. He had no prior prison record.

Pettigrew was walking from a fast-food restaurant to a family member’s apartment on Alturas Road when he was assaulted and repeatedly stabbed. Pettigrew, who stood about 6 feet, 8 inches and weighed more than 400 pounds, managed to make it to the apartment before collapsing. Emergency medical personnel rushed Pettigrew to a hospital, where he died 18 days later.

Video surveillance from nearby businesses led homicide detectives to the three men charged and convicted. An attempt by the District Attorney's Office to charge the trio with a hate crime – the victim was black and the suspects were affiliated with a Latino gang – was rejected by a judge in 2016.

Garcia received additional sentencing in a case not related to Pettigrew. He received two years and eight months for a case in which he pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and for an assault that occurred while he was in custody awaiting trial.

 

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