A 52-year-old Long Beach man was sentenced Wednesday, Aug. 17, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his part in chasing down and fatally shooting a marijuana-dispensary worker with a cash-filled backpack in Santa Ana.

Antonio Lamont Triplett was convicted June 9 of murder, with a special-circumstance allegation of a killing during a robbery, and felony second-degree robbery. His co-defendants are awaiting trial.

They are accused of killing Osvaldo Garcia, 29, of Santa Ana on Sept. 16, 2019.

Garcia was driving home in his Honda Accord when he was run off of the road by a Nissan at 17th and Bristol streets just before 1 a.m., Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark Birney said. Garcia was on the phone with his girlfriend.

Two of the men jumped out of the car that was in pursuit and at least one opened fire on the Honda while Garcia was scrambling to climb out of the passenger-side window, Birney said. The two suspects ran to the other side of the car, and at least one opened fire again and beat Garcia over the head with a gun.

Triplett popped the trunk of the Accord to steal the backpack full of cash, Birney said. Multiple cars passed by the scene, including a Santa Ana police squad car, the driver of which appeared unaware of what had happened and did not stop despite the Honda being perched on a row of hedges in a parking lot of Santa Ana College, according to surveillance-video.

It was unclear whether one or two guns were used, Birney said. But before the Santa Ana police car passed by, the suspects calmly went about their business of stealing.

“After killing Mr. Garcia, they spend minute after minute at that scene getting their money,” Birney said. “The brazen nature of it is really obscene.”

The victim’s girlfriend drove to the scene of the crime with her mother and told police that according to a smartphone app, she saw that her boyfriend’s phone was in Corona, Birney said, adding that police immediately started tracking the phone with help from a helicopter crew.

At about 3 a.m., police tracked the phone to an industrial complex in Carson, where suspects from three vehicles met and exchanged property, Birney said.

One suspect was a former employee of TRG marijuana dispensary in South Los Angeles, where Garcia worked, Birney said. Garcia’s job was to transport cash receipts from the business, the prosecutor added.

Police subsequently followed one of the vehicles to Long Beach and set up surveillance and later arrested Triplett and recovered Garcia’s cell phone, Birney said. Investigators found Garcia’s blood on Triplett’s shoe as well as a bandana with Triplett’s DNA on it at the crime scene.

https://www.presstelegram.com/2022/08/17/man-gets-life-in-killing-of-marijuana-dispensary-worker-in-santa-ana/