A Southern California gang member has been convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of a rival whose death authorities say was immortalized in an elaborate tattoo of the crime scene on the gangster's chest.
Anthony Garcia, 25, was found guilty Wednesday in the death of John Juarez, 23, outside a liquor store in Pico Rivera on Jan. 23, 2004. The case had turned cold until a Los Angeles County investigator spotted a photo of Garcia's tattoo and recognized the crime scene because he had visited it as a station sergeant in the Los Angeles-area city.
The tattoo, which stretches from Garcia's neck to his chest and from arm to arm, showed particulars of the scene, including Christmas lights on the store's roof, a street sign and a bent street lamp. Sheriff's homicide investigator Kevin Lloyd was looking at photos of tattooed gang members four years after the killing when he came across Garcia's tattoo and recognized the crime scene.
Above the scene, in bold ink, were the words "Rivera Kills," a reference to Garcia's Rivera 13 gang.
Capt. Mike Parker said Garcia's body art acted as a confession. "He tattooed his confession on his chest. You have a degree of fate with this," Parker said.