- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 5, 2014

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A San Diego jury has deadlocked on whether two alleged leaders of a violent Mexican drug gang should receive the death penalty.

U-T San Diego (https://bit.ly/1kVN2wq ) says jurors announced Tuesday they could not agree whether Jorge Rojas Lopez and Juan Francisco Estrada should be executed or sent to prison for life.

The judge declared a mistrial and scheduled a hearing for next week, at which the attorneys are expected to discuss how the case should proceed.

The two men were convicted in January of several counts of first-degree murder, kidnapping and other charges.

Prosecutors said Lopez and Estrada were the top two figures in Los Palillos, or the Toothpicks, a breakaway cell from the Arellano Felix cartel that established a foothold in the U.S.

The defendants are already serving life in prison without parole for other crimes.

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Information from: U-T San Diego, https://www.utsandiego.com


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