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Gang made him kill people Neal Putnam | Fri, Jul 30 2010 04:00 PM

A Chula Vista man pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting deaths of two men in 2002. He also admitted that the slayings were committed at "the direction of association with a criminal street gang."

Jamar Edward Wilson, 29, pleaded guilty to fatally shooting Steven Bankhead, 24, and Clifford Lambert III, 31, on June 21, 2002, at 7:23 p.m. in the 1300 block of South 45th Street near National City.

Wilson faces a sentencing range between 17 to 32 years in prison, according to the plea form he signed. He will have to do 85 percent of whatever sentence he receives before he could be eligible for parole. Probation is ruled out.

Sentencing was set for Aug. 18 by San Diego Superior Court Judge Louis Hanoian, who dismissed two murder charges. Had Wilson been convicted of two murders, he could have received two life sentences.

His attorney wrote in court documents that Wilson "aided or abetted" the slayings "at the direction or association with a criminal street gang." The statement suggested there may be others involved in the slayings, but Wilson is the only person charged.

Wilson was arrested Sept. 17, 2009, by San Diego police as he left his home in Chula Vista. In an April court hearing he was ordered to stand trial for both murders. Neither the prosecutor nor defense attorney could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Court records indicate Wilson was on probation for a 2008 felony domestic violence conviction in Chula Vista. He remains in the downtown San Diego central jail without bail.


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