A 39-year-old man was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for the fatal shooting of a gas station clerk in Diamond Bar more than two decades ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced.
On March 7, a jury found Lino Acero guilty of first-degree murder in case KA106410. Jurors found true the special circumstance allegation that the murder was committed during the commission of an attempted robbery. Additionally, jurors found true a special allegation that the defendant personally used a handgun during the commission of the crime.
Deputy District Attorney Ross Alari, who prosecuted the case, said on Nov. 18, 1994, two men entered a gas station in Diamond Bar and attempted to rob the cashier, victim Mahfouz Ghabour.
During the failed robbery, one of the suspects fatally shot Ghabour, the prosecutor added, before the two men fled the scene with nothing in hand.
Although a homicide investigation was conducted after the fatal shooting, the case eventually went cold, the prosecutor said.
Nearly 10 years after the killing, detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Gang Task Force reopened the case and posted the surveillance video of the attack on “LA's Most Wanted,” the prosecutor said.
The video's appearance on TV led to a tip on the shooter, however detectives needed to continue to investigate the case, the prosecutor added.
On June 26, 2014, authorities arrested and charged Lino Acero in connection with the killing of Ghabour, 42.
At trial, jurors were shown surveillance video of the attack. Acero is seen entering an employee hatch to get behind the counter before pulling out a gun, according to the prosecutor. Ghabour then grasps his chest and starts to bleed before he falls to the floor.
Also, according to court testimony, a civilian witness who was at the gas station at the time of the shooting identified Acero as the shooter, the prosecutor said.
The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Los Angeles County District Attorney /case KA106410/ October 7, 2016