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Gascon Policy Blamed for Man’s Release From Life Prison Term Before Arrest in Killing of Pacoima Transient

A man arrested in the slaying of a transient in Pacoima was released from prison last year after serving just eight years of a life sentence for a double murder because District Attorney George Gascon refused to transfer his case from juvenile to adult court, the Southern California News Group has learned.

Victor Bibiano, 30, was taken into custody last month for the April 16 killing of 42-year-old Mario Rodriguez, who was found shot at a transient encampment at Dronefield Avenue and Terra Bella Street in the foothill area of Pacoima.

Bibiano was 17 when he and two co-defendants were convicted in adult court in 2012 in the killing of two rival Pacoima gang members and the wounding of a third in 2009. Bibiano was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for a special-circumstance double murder, attempted murder, and shooting a firearm at an inhabited dwelling, as well as gun and gang enhancements, according to court records.

He was released from prison in 2021.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of Mario Rodriguez,” Gascón said in a statement Tuesday, adding that a preliminary investigation has revealed the homicide occurred during a robbery and drug deal.

“We have charged Victor Bibiano in connection with that crime, although evidence to date suggests he did not personally shoot or kill Mr. Rodriguez,” he added. “As it is an open case, we cannot discuss the facts in any greater detail.”

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