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Monday, September 12, 2005

Gang Markings Lead to Stiff Virginia Sentence


A new precedent was allowed in a Richmond court. When Oscar Servellon went to trial for forging payroll checks and passing them in his own Latino community, he was described as a good guy by his defense witnesses, and his mother.

Then there was a surprising turn of events in the case, when gang experts pointed to the meaning of a tattoo, a five pointed crown Oscar had on his right shoulder.

This was the first case in Virginia that allowed the testimony of gang experts. The tattoo was pointed out to be a symbol of the Latin Kings. The influence of the gang expert testimony resulted in a harsh 6 year sentence for Oscar.

Soon throughout Virginia , when people with gang affiliations commit crimes, they too will be facing stiffer penalties. New legislation passed in the 2005 Virginia Assembly has provided prosecutors with new tools to implement when someone is suspected gang involvement commits a crime.

Thanks to SW Virginia Law Blog for leading us to this story.

Photo credit: public domain

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