A convicted double murderer from Hacienda Heights is about to walk out of prison over a technicality. In April of 2006, along a flood canal near Hacienda Blvd and Colima, 17-year-old Chris Murray and his buddies, who were armed, confronted 15-year-old Christopher Trevizo and 17-year-old Demetrius Flores over a marijuana deal gone bad - Flores’ 17-year-old twin brother Damon was also there.
LA County Sheriff’s Detective Steve Blagg says Murray shot Trevizo in the head and Flores in the neck, Flores died on the scene – Trevizo died 6-days later. Flores’ brother was shot running away but faked his death until Murray and his accomplices left the area.
Blagg says within 24-hours Murray was arrested (booking photo above).
In 2007, Murray was convicted in adult court for the murders of Trevizo and Flores, and the attempted murder of Flores – Murray was given 2 Life Without Parole Sentences for the murders, and 79 years to life for the attempted murder.
In 2009, Blagg says Murray’s attorneys petitioned the court for resentencing, claiming the original sentences were excessive. The motion sat in limbo for years. In 2016, Proposition 57 made the ballot and passed, making it mandatory for juvenile cases to be automatically adjudicated in juvenile court. The only exception would be if the District Attorney of the presiding jurisdiction filed a motion to transfer the case to adult court. Prop 57 would also be retroactive, meaning previous cases could fall under the new law.
Blagg says when Murray’s case was about to come up he emailed the district attorney’s office to ask if they would review the case and consider filing a motion to transfer it to adult court. Blagg says after multiple attempts his emails went unanswered.
DA George Gascon said his directive, 20-09, forbids a prosecutor from moving a juvenile case to adult court. Gascon says this directive was designed to find alternatives to juvenile detention and make diversion the default, adding he seeks to bring his office in step with the trend to seek “care over cages” and address “need over deed.” This also applies to people who are now adults but committed their crimes as kids.
Because of Prop 57, and the fact that the DA’s office refused to review the case, it had to be moved to the LA County Juvenile Court. By now, Murray, who’s in his 30’s, would be standing before a juvenile court judge for consideration on his petition. Flores’ parents submitted victim impact statements – you can read them here.
Blagg says in court Murray’s attorneys argued their client had turned his life around, become a mentor to other inmates, was getting a degree and had become involved with an animal shelter. Blagg noted that Murray said via video conference the day of the murders was the worst day of his life, not even acknowledging the pain felt by the Trevizo and Flores families.
A judge granted Murray’s petition – and, because it was adjudicated in juvenile court, juvenile sentencing guidelines apply, meaning… Chris Murray has done his time for a double murder and attempted murder.
He’s expected to be released sometime this week.