Gang Member Sentenced for 2015 Venice Murder of Homeless Man

Coroners on the scene of the murder, August 30, 2015. Photo via KTLA5.

Francisco Cardenaz Guzman faces murder and firearm charges 

By Sam Catanzaro

A 32-year-old gang member has been sentenced to 93 years to life in state prison for the murder of a homeless man following an argument in Venice Beach four years ago, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Francisco Cardenaz Guzman, 32, was convicted by a six-man, six-woman jury last month of one count each of first-degree murder, attempted murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. Gun and gang allegations also were found true.

Deputy District Attorney John McKinney of the Major Crimes Division prosecuted the case.

On August 30, 2015, Guzman was involved in an argument with a group of homeless people near Ocean Front Walk in Venice Beach when he opened fire. Another argument ensued and Guzman shot and killed 26-year-old Jascent Warren.

During the trial, witnesses said that Warren was known to his friends as “Shakespeare” because of his way with words, and was hoping to break into the music business.

Deputy District Attorney John McKinney, argued to jurors that Guzman was a gang member protecting his turf, while defense attorney Garrett Zelen said that his client Guzman was simply attempting to defend himself from a potentially harmful attack.

Guzman fled the scene. He was arrested about a month later.

Case SA091180 was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department.