Judge refuses to vacate life sentence in Virginia MS-13 gang murder

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A federal judge has refused to vacate the sentence of a northern Virginia gang member convicted of murder.

Douglas Duran Cerritos was convicted in 2016 of ordering and participating in the murder of fellow MS-13 gang member Gerson Adoni Martinez Aguilar for disobeying gang rules. Cerritos, who was 18 at the time of the killing, is serving life without parole.

Cerritos filed a motion to vacate his sentence last year, claiming that the trial judge erred in failing to order an evaluation of his competence to stand trial. He also claimed that his attorney was ineffective for not having him evaluated by a psychiatrist.

The judge dismissed both arguments last week as meritless.

A federal appeals court rejected an appeal from Cerritos in 2017, upholding his conviction and sentence.

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