Man Convicted For Murder May Avoid Life

By Michael Armijo

Diamond Bar – A man accused of killing a gas station attendant over 20 years ago was convicted last week in the two decade old murder may avoid serving a life sentence because he was a teenager at the time, authorities said Tuesday.

Lino Jesus Acero, now 38, was 17 years old when he walked into an Arco gas station on Nov. 18, 1994, in a robbery attempt that killed Mahfouz Ghabour. Acero was convicted of being the trigger man when he went behind the counter and shot Ghabour in the chest. He fled with an accomplice empty handed, officials said.

The jury, who deliberated for only a few days, convicted Acero last Monday. Using a handgun in a crime would normally lead to a life sentence without parole, but because of a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year found that such punishment was cruel and unusual for juveniles.

Acero faces at least 25 years to life in prison, authorities said. He’s scheduled to be sentenced June 10 when the judge can order the life sentence or a reduced sentence.