Alleged gang member could face death penalty

2013-03-06T21:45:00Z 2013-03-06T22:08:29Z Alleged gang member could face death penaltyElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 933-3246 nwitimes.com

HAMMOND | Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against an alleged gang member accused of aiding in the homicides of six people.

Juan "Tito" Briseno, of Hammond, is among more than 20 alleged members of the Almighty Imperial Gangsters charged with racketeering, murder and other crimes involving drugs in East Chicago.

Briseno will face the death penalty if found guilty of murder in aid of racketeering and firearm murder.

According to court documents, Briseno aided in the homicides of Luis Ortiz, Michael Sessum, Miguel Mejias, Harris Brown, Miguel Colon and Latroy Howard. All six were considered rivals of the gang.

He's accused of killing Howard outside an East Chicago liquor store in June 2010 to move up in rank within the gang, according to court records.

The notice stated one reason for why the death penalty is being sought is because Briseno wanted to require other gang members to shoot on site, according to records. The document also states he has a lack of remorse for acts of violence and is likely to commit those acts again.

The U.S. attorney's office said in a November 2011 news conference that three of the alleged gang members could face the death penalty.

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