Barry Laprell Gilton and Lupe Mercado stand accused of murdering their daughter's pimp.
The couple tried in vain to persuade their 17 year old daughter to break ties with 22-year-old Calvin Sneed, who had been pimping her around North Hollywood, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The couple from San Francisco, California, reportedly sought help from law enforcement with little or no response. The couple even added their daughter's name to several missing and exploited children registries, according to their lawyers. The prosecutors allege that when their resources ran out, the couple turned to premeditated murder.
Los Angeles prosecutors are also attesting that the couple tried to murder Sneed not once, but twice.
On May 27, along Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood, the couple allegedly tried to kill him and failed.
However on June 4, on their second attempt, the couple succeeded. According to MSNBC, Sneed was sitting in his when Gilton fired a .40-caliber weapon from another vehicle, killing him.
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Gilton and Mercado each have 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, according to MSNBC. Gilton is facing an additional charge of possession of a firearm as a felon because of a 1995 drug-related conviction. They are being held on $2 million bail each.
Lawyer Eric Safire, who represents Gilton, told the LA Times, "There is some circumstantial evidence, and there's certainly a motive, but there is no direct evidence that we've been made aware of."
DA spokesman Alex Bastian combats this claim and said the case had been thoroughly investigated by police. "We would not charge a case unless we had a good-faith basis that we could prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt," Bastian said.
Sneed's uncle, Charles Sneed, responded to the accusations by telling the San francisco Chronicle that the girl's parents had no right to play god. "Calvin was a pimp, the girl was a runaway, the parents got mad."