Gang member who slashed attorney in court gets 64 years for conspiracy
SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A gang member who slashed his attorney on the cheek
during a trial in which the defendant was convicted of trying to carry out a
Mexican Mafia-directed “hit” on a fellow inmate at Donovan State Prison was
sentenced Monday to 64 years to life behind bars, plus 35 years.
Eduardo Macias, 33, was convicted last December, along with 38-year-old
Geronimo Polina, of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and assault.
Jurors also found that the July 5, 2010, attack on Victor Ortiz was carried out
for the benefit of a street gang.
At the time of the attack on Ortiz, Macias was serving time for a March
2010 manslaughter conviction.
A third man, Lionel Quinteros, was acquitted of conspiracy and attempted
murder in the Ortiz attack but convicted of assault by means likely to
produce great bodily injury by a prisoner.
Quinteros was previously sentenced to eight years in prison and Polina
to 75 years to life behind bars, plus 16 years.
During his trial, Macias slashed attorney William Burgener on the cheek
with a razor the defendant apparently smuggled into the courtroom in his mouth.
The slashing took place in front of jurors and a group of about 20 high school
students on a field trip.
Burgener needed stitches to close the wound. For the remainder of the
trial, Macias defended himself. In May, he pleaded guilty to aggravated mayhem.
With regard to the attack on Ortiz, Macias said he acted alone and
wasn't trying to kill the victim. But Deputy District Attorney Hector Jimenez
said the defendants conspired to murder Ortiz to end a power struggle for
control of the prison.
The prosecutor said Macias was “lying in wait” with a razor in the
prison yard, while Polina brought the victim to him. A prison guard fired
numerous rounds to stop the attack.