Orange County Killer, 14, Calls His 40-Year Punishment Cruel & Unusual

Andrew Cervantes teen killer.jpg
Question for Cervantes: Was it worth it?
In June 2010, Buena Park mobile-home resident Andrew Cervantes (a.k.a. "Tank") aged four years in an instant when--at the age of 14 and in the eighth grade--he paused a Santa Ana bicycle ride to buy candy to ask another teenage hoodlum, Manual Orozco, a gang-world question: "Where you from?" 

Cervantes must have really not liked the answer because he voluntarily surrendered decades of his life in freedom because of it. 

A mad-dogging contest ensued, and Cervantes pulled out a handgun from his waistband, killed the unarmed Orozco (a.k.a. "Downer")--a member of the 18th Street gang, and pedaled away. 

Prosecutors inside the Orange County district attorney's office elevated Cervantes to adult status to charge him with murder, a 2011 jury convicted him and veteran Superior Court Judge William R. Froeberg sentenced him to a whopping term of 40 years to life. 

Lawyers for Cervantes appealed, claiming, among other things, that Froeberg shouldn't have allowed jurors to see a photograph of the defendant posing with gangsters in the Darkside criminal street gang; the jury should have been instructed better on the right to self-defense; the gang prosecutor--Mark Geller--was unfairly disrespectful to the taxpayer-funded, defense lawyer; and the punishment levied constituted "cruel and unusual punishment." 

Justices at the California Court of Appeal considered the merits of Cervantes' claims and on Feb. 28 gave him his bad news.

Though they cited a recent state Supreme Court ruling to overturn the active gang participation conviction, they noted that people can't use self-defense as an excuse to use force after provoking a fight. They also voiced displeasure with a few portions of the prosecutor's closing argument, but they determined the defendant's rights hadn't been trampled.

On Cervantes' last complaint--the lengthy punishment--the appellate justices also had no sympathy.
 
"Cervantes committed a gang-related murder with a firearm," wrote Justice David A. Thompson for himself and justices William F. Rylaarsdam and William W. Bedsworth. "Not only was he carrying the gun, [but also] he used it simply because a rival gang member engaged with him in a verbal confrontation. Cervantes had an opportunity to ignore Orozco and continue riding his bicycle or limit his use of force to words or fists. Instead, he opted to shoot Orozco after what can at best be described as minimally provocative conduct."

Upshot: Cervantes--whose older brother is a gangster and whose father was deported from the U.S. for illegal immigration--will continue to serve his punishment at the California Youth Authority.

He'll get a state-funded present on his 18th birthday: He'll be bussed to one of our state's notorious adult prisons to serve the remainder of his punishment.



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96 comments
obbopp
obbopp

Societal parasites. Need permanent removal.

If proven 250% guilty with absolutely NO doubt as to guilt... parachute the fiends over a foreign land far far away.  Perhaps Iran or North Korea?


And inform the populace that a similar act may result in your removal from society.


Decent, law-abiding folks can not allow scum to lessen our lives as they have, do noe and will continue to do unless stern measures are taken.

payton323
payton323

If only the other guy had a gun, maybe they could have killed each other saving me the cost of paying for his 40 years with my tax dollars. I'm sure 18th st. will have something to say when he gets inside.

PaulDouglasHale
PaulDouglasHale

Is Andrew Cervantes eligible for good time, parole, etc., to reduce his time of incarceration?

Now. to the crimes committed:

Who gave him the gun?!

Here, in Brunswick, Georgia, we have the Pre-Planned Execution of an Infant in a Stroller, alleged to 17 + 14 yo's.

The 17 yo will tried as an adult according to GA law; the 14 yo will have a hearing to determine; I do not know if they have had FA or PC Hearings, yet.

I do not know who shot the infant.

14 and pulled the trigger + 40 to Life = Endless Problems.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/339511856148646/






Exordium
Exordium

I find it interesting we give kids like this the responsibilities of adulthood - culpability in serious crimes for instance, but none of the perks. This kid couldn't buy cigarettes or beer, rent an apartment, make legal decisions for himself without counsel, etc. but he could be charged just the same as someone who can do all of those things. Just think that's kind of interesting, and unfair.

fruitcake
fruitcake

I agree with the court. 14 is an age of consent and reasoning. This turd will have plenty of time to grow up in prison.He should have used the twinkie defense, probably would have gotten off.....

galenwollenberg
galenwollenberg

I guess it really does take a village to raise a child....

Cece Martinez
Cece Martinez

Von- your biblical quote of judicial punishment was better when Gandhi finished it, "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind."

xwagner76
xwagner76

We could use some ethnic cleansing. And I mean on a wholesale basis.

jzur84
jzur84

Manuel was my former student at Santiago HS. Yes, its almost cliche to say that he was turning his life around. However, its hard to ignore that Manuel had a lot of brains- he would pass a test without ever studying and helped classmates whenever he had a chance. He always participated in class and asked a lot of questions... I feel absolutely no sympathy for Cervantes. I hope he rots in jail for all the 40 years and hopefully even longer. 

Von Henchy
Von Henchy

so should a murderer get two years for taking the entire life of another and hurt many family and friends..? Bullshit - An Eye for an Eye..gas that little cockroach.

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

Mike: He was born here—care to correct your comment? Michael: You might want to look up the definition of a hate crime...

Michael McCracken
Michael McCracken

If this was a white Neo nazi teen that killed a mexican girl, people would want him hung. It should be the same here. This should be a hate crime.

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

Also, he clearly has mental health issues...so that means he projects.  So, when he says that he RECEIVED a cruel punishment...his brain is trying to process the fact that he GAVE a cruel punishment.

JGlanton
JGlanton topcommenter

Cervantes will never reform. He is in a gang now, he'll be in a gang throughout his prison term, and he'll be in a gang the day he gets out. The 40 year sentence leaves me with the feeling that OC will become a more dangerous place in 40 years or earlier when he gets parole. He should get the maximum sentence possible and that is too short.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young topcommenter

El futuro de California y todos los Estados Unidos. Que Dios tenga misericordia.

[I see you have the spell checker set to deal with Spanish]

Mike Martinez
Mike Martinez

Lock him up and throw away the key. Another illegal alien gangster.

Trung Vobot
Trung Vobot

What kind of gang not arm all their members? Had Manual Orozco's gang provided him with a hand gun this all could have been prevented.. Sheesh!

Steve Ramirez
Steve Ramirez

Reading most of the comments above remind me why I sometimes feel ashamed of living in Orange County. You guys are almost as bad as the kid the article is talking about.

Cece Martinez
Cece Martinez

The comments above, I pray that you will find peace in your hearts and that you or your families never have to go through something like this.because, the justice system has no therapeutic jurisprudence. He was a child (14) that made a very bad choice. If he had a chance to prove that evidence based interventions by trained therapists while in juvi he could change his life around. Yes, he broke the law. He did his time. He deserves a chance. The system is broken.

Jose Contreras
Jose Contreras

fuck kyle ...joe ..and andrew bitch ass foos....thats the homie tank...get em....

Andrew Cusumano
Andrew Cusumano

To say he "cleaned the streets" makes you as ignorant as that fuckin lowlife. For all you know his victim was in a tagging crew, or some other nonviolent set, and got killed cuz that faggot piece of shit had a gun and wanted to be a big man behind an easy button. Funny thing with these pieces of shit is that you ignore them and they think theyre tougher, you say ANYTHING back to them and theyre immediately threatened to the point of murderous "retaliation". What a fucking joke.....

Michael Moon
Michael Moon

At 14 do you believe his time in prison will improve him so that when he returns to the world he left he'll be able to do more than be a gang member?

kbear09090
kbear09090

@Exordium None of those actions are illegal. If he could buy beer would it make the crime more palatable for you? He committed cold blooded murder. Do you think he would have showed you or any of your family members mercy in a street robbery?

OCMichael
OCMichael

Uh, Lex Talionis, commonly referred to as "An Eye for an Eye" was codified, originally by Hammurabi, and copied by Exodus, was put forthto prescribe a MAXIMUM punishment for a crime, so that someone could not be put to death for theft, or for maiming someone. Gandhi's oft-used quote is witty, butas wrong

nsaadaie
nsaadaie

@xwagner76 Sorry bud... Caucasian Republicans are a minority in this country now. And I hate to be the one to break this to you, but that isn't going to change. Pull your head out of Fox News for a day and you will see what I am talking about.

Lajimmy
Lajimmy

I agree....let's start with you!

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

@Michael McCracken  What do you mean?  Please elaborate.

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

It seems like more of a gang territory thing.  30 years ago I lived in Bell and there were gang members there, but the only people they ever bothered were members of rival gangs.  They would identify (by colors of clothing) whether a rival gang member was walking in their neighborhood and they would literally stab them for this infraction.  Maybe people who are oppressed join gangs and project their own sense of being labeled and ostracized onto peer rivals.  Any wrong that a person experiences inwardly is eventually projected outwardly.  That's why it's so important to avoid people and situations that do us wrong...so that we don't become wrong.

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

@Michael McCracken  The person he killed is the same race, so it isn't a hate crime.

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

@Bill Martin  Maybe that's what he was saying to himself when he committed murder.

tawneyestrella
tawneyestrella

@Cece Martinez Not only did he break a law...he took a life. That child will never walk or breathe again. If Cervantes feels grown up enough to carry a gun and kill people with it, then he's certainly grown up enough to pay the consequences. It's unfortunate that so many people have to pay right along with him for his selfish and foolish act. 

Cottonwood
Cottonwood

@Carlos Gonzalez  Maybe that's what he was saying to himself when he committed murder.

bob_lablaw96
bob_lablaw96

@Michael Moon Cry me a river!  What do you propose we do with kids like this?  Give them a fuckin' cookie and put them on time out?

He will never do the 40 years.  He will align with the homies and get time added to his sentence, and all he can do is whine about his age and lack of maturity. 

OCMichael
OCMichael

Witty, but as wrong-headed as the average 'soft-on-crime' liberal.

sinestro1984
sinestro1984

Actually their not spic. The US is 66% WHITE, and thank god. Whites are literally gods gift to earth. Without us you would still be living in the mud. US spic population is 16%.

xwagner76
xwagner76

@Lajimmy Sorry, Caucasian Republican suburban homeowner here. At last report I'm in the majority.

sinestro1984
sinestro1984

You are quite stupid. The 2011 census report states. 66% of the US is white. 13% black, 16% Hispanic. Also moron, the reason Obama won or cheated, was because whites voted for him, idiot.

obbopp
obbopp

@xwagner76 @truth   Well, GW Bush, when president, did publicly proclaim that Mexico is the USA's best friend.

xwagner76
xwagner76

@truth -- Oh, you are SO right. I now feel that this 14 year old who killed some other teenager ought to be set free. NOT. 

Mexican-Americans appear to be adrift in the US -- can't speak Spanish, no path back to Mexico... just lost, killing one another off. 

I'll kick back and enjoy their cultural legacy. Thanks for all those posts!

truth
truth

@xwagner76 Republican Caucasians are the majority? Where the fuck have you been? Your republican presidential candidate was trampled by Democrats and HELLO! your president is black. Make yourself useful and go read a census report. Hispanic Americans will very soon become the majority in this country so I suggest you watch your words. YOU are the reason why the world hates this country. You self absorbed ignorant racist asshole.

Justin_Khase
Justin_Khase

@Lajimmy: For "Caucasian Republican suburban homeowner" read knuckle-dragging skidmark.

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