Fort Worth gang member gets 30 years in shooting deaths

08/20/2014 10:10 AM

08/20/2014 10:11 AM

A 21-year-old gang member was sentenced to 30 years in prison for his role in a drive-by shooting on a south Fort Worth freeway that left a young couple dead and two other people wounded.

Jose “Stretch” De La Rosa reached an agreement with prosecutors Tamla Ray and Michelle Dobson and pleaded guilty Monday in state District Judge Wayne Salvant’s court to engaging in organized criminal activity, according to a news release from the Tarrant County district attorney’s office.

De La Rosa, the third person convicted in the shooting, must serve half his sentence before becoming eligible for parole, the release said.

Police determined that De La Rosa was driving the vehicle carrying Joe “Lil Joe” Sessums, another gang member, who opened fire on a white Toyota Camry, killing the driver, Fabian Guerrero, 21, and his passenger, Diane Guerra, 22.

Two other passengers were injured, and another was unhurt.

A Tarrant County jury convicted Sessums of capital murder in November, and he received a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Gabriel “Lil Shadow” Cerda, who helped plan the shooting, is serving 10 years.

“Hopefully, the families of Diane and Fabian can now feel some measure of peace knowing that the three men responsible for their deaths have been held accountable,” Ray said.

On the night of May 20, 2012, Guerrero, Guerra and several friends went to the Hooters restaurant on Southwest Boulevard. Guerrero and others in his group were believed to be members of a south Fort Worth gang that had been warring with a rival south-side gang.

A Hooters employee saw them and called members of his gang. Three of them came to the restaurant and waited for their rivals to leave. Shortly after 9 p.m., Guerrero, Guerra and three others drove away in the Camry, headed east on South Loop 820 and turned south onto Interstate 35W.

When they took the Sycamore School Road exit, a tan Chevrolet Tahoe pulled up, and Sessums opened fire. The Camry crashed into a retaining wall. Guerrero, who was driving, and Guerra, in the front passenger seat, were pronounced dead at the scene. About a month later, Sessums, Cerda and De La Rosa were arrested.

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

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