Verdicts for 2 Men for 2 Killings in 2 Cities

A jury found two men guilty of two first-degree murder charges with special circumstances Wednesday.

Franko Bernal, 22, and Samuel McCauley Jr., 26, face the death penalty in the fatal shooting of a 7-Eleven clerk during a robbery in Lemon Grove and the unrelated murder of an 18-year-old man in Murrieta

The pair is accused in the shooting of Daunte Mercado-Bates, 18, in Murrieta on November 24, 2006, and of shooting two people while robbing a Lemon Grove convenience store on November 25, 2008. Villaverde was shot in the face and survived but 54-year old clerk Pedro Hernandez Vargas died from his injuries.

The dramatic surveillance tape of the convenience store robbery was shown in court.  Along with physical evidence found at the scene, prosecutors told jurors they had admissions by McCauley about his role in the killing.

The penalty phase of the trial will start next week.

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