SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Police say a couple took the law into their own hands when they allegedly tracked down their 17-year-old daughter’s pimp and then shot him to death.
Barry Gilton and Lupe Mercado say their daughter was lured away from home by a Compton gang member, 22-year-old Calvin Sneed, who then became her pimp. They say they tried talking to their daughter, tried getting police involved, and even placed her name in missing and exploited children registries, but were unable to get their daughter out from under Sneed’s influence.
But some of their problems were solved in the early morning hours of June 4 when Sneed was murdered–shot in the head while driving in an area close to the couple’s home near San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. The shooter was in a silver Mercedes-Benz SUV, according to prosecutors, and they say that shooter was Gilton.
In fact, they don’t believe this was the couple’s first attempt to take Sneed’s life. On the night of May 27, along Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood, an unknown shooter walked up to Sneed as he sat in his car and fired nine shots. Sneed was injured by shattered glass, but refused to cooperate with the resulting police investigation.
Both Gilton and Mercado, who have three other children together, have each been charged with one count of murder, one count of discharging a firearm into an occupied motor vehicle and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. They are each being held on $2-million bail with an arraignment scheduled for June 20.
Prosecutors say they have substantial evidence to back their accusations, including the fact that Gilton was in a silver Mercedes SUV at the time of the shooting and that Mercado had called him four minutes before Sneed was shot to death. Dist. Atty. George Gascon said that he understands the couple’s frustration “but taking the law into your own hands is not an acceptable solution.”
Eric Safire, the lawyer representing Gilton, says that his client did not murder Sneed and never planned to do so. He states Sneed was more than likely a victim of his own activities. According to Safire, at the time Sneed was shot to death, he was “out doing his business in a foreign gang area. We do know that he was involved in gang activity and that he was up here on his own. It’s not unlikely that he would be exposed to violence.”Tags: Barry Gilton, California, Calvin Sneed, Crime, Lupe Mercado, Murder, pimp, Shooting