Man Sentenced to 57 Years for Deadly Killing Father and Son and Further Montebello Attacks

A Montebello man was sentenced to 57 years in prison on Tuesday for fatally shooting a father and son at a 2008 graduation party in Montebello and attempting to kill a gang member two blocks away.

Joe Dorantes was sentenced to 15 to life in prison for each murder, as well as 27 years for attempted murder, according to Deputy District Attorney Luke Sisak. Dorantes was also sentenced by the court to pay around $32,000 in reparation, he added.

“This is something that has been a long time coming,” Sisak remarked.

Dorantes, 38, did not speak during his sentence at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los Angeles, according to both his attorney, Daniel A. Nardoni, and the prosecutor.

Nardoni noted that his client received seven years for attempted murder and 20 years for a firearms charge.

Dorantes must serve 27 years, followed by the murder sentence, according to Nardoni. He wanted the court to run the murder sentences concurrently, but the judge ruled they would be served sequentially, Nardoni said. The court also refused the defense’s plea for a new trial.

Dorantes was tried twice for the June 21, 2008, shooting deaths of Juan Garcia, 44, of Perris, and Albert Garcia, 12, of Hemet.

Dorantes was found guilty by the first jury in 2017 of attempting to murder two people at the party as well as Marcus Vera a few blocks away. However, the court declared a mistrial because the jury were unable to reach a decision on the murder counts.

Two of the attempted murder convictions were eventually reversed on appeal.

Dorantes was tried again for the killings. On January 24, the second jury found him guilty of two charges of second-degree murder.

Juan Garcia, his son, and his fiancee attended the party, which was hosted in a backyard on the 100 block of East Madison Avenue.

A brawl broke out between members of the Southside Montebello gang and a tagging crew in front of the house earlier today. According to court papers, a gang member assaulted Dorantes’ nephew, Angel Sosa, on the head with a bottle. Sosa and his companions departed. Someone in their group said, “We will be back.”

A couple of gang members remained at the celebration.

Dorantes went there to hunt for Montebello gang members, Sisak stated in an earlier interview.

“He was looking for anybody who qualified as an enemy,” the prosecutor explained.

According to court papers, a victim reported to police that Dorantes and his friend pointed at the two gang members in the garden. Authorities reported two shooters.

“To a lot of people it was the worst day of their lives,” stated Sisak.

Albert Garcia and his father were both shot in the chest. According to court records, one male sustained a graze wound to his hip, one woman was injured in the arm, and another was grazed by a bullet.

Angel Sosa, then a teenager, faced adult charges for the shootings in 2010. Jurors cleared him of double murder and found him not guilty of assault with a pistol on another partygoer.

Dorantes was arrested in 2012.

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