Parents accused of murdering runaway teenaged daughter’s pimp

posted at 7:58 pm on June 15, 2012 by Allahpundit

A fitting end to “desperate parent kills child’s tormentor” week at HA.

Alternate headline: “Lifetime Network executive gets idea for greatest TV movie ever.”

The couple tried to persuade the teenager to break ties with 22-year-old Calvin Sneed. They sought help from law enforcement — to no avail — and later added the girl to several missing and exploited children registries, according to their lawyers. And that, their lawyers said, was where they left it…

In a criminal complaint that has stunned the couple’s friends and relatives, the San Francisco district attorney’s office said Gilton and Mercado plotted to kill Sneed. One attempt on the night of May 27, along Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood, failed. A second, not far from the couple’s home near San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, succeeded…

Prosecutors contend the couple tracked Sneed to North Hollywood on May 27 and fired a 9-millimeter handgun at him as he sat in a car, “striking him.”…

The 17-year-old returned with Sneed to the Bay Area on the weekend of June 2 to visit an ailing relative, Safire said. She argued with her parents, who tried unsuccessfully to get Sneed to leave.

No self-defense claim available here, obviously, but the parents have two things going for them. One: Sneed was allegedly a gang member and the target of a drive-by shooting last year, which might provide a sympathetic jury with an excuse to find mom and dad not guilty. Obviously there was more than one person out there who wanted him dead. Maybe it was a gangster who did him in? Two: According to the parents’ lawyer, they begged the cops for help to no avail. Left with no legal remedies, what were they supposed to do?

The couple have been together since middle school and live with their three other children in San Francisco. Their daughter disappeared some time ago and after searching for her, Gilton and Mercado discovered that she was turning tricks and that Sneed was her pimp, their attorneys said.

“They had gone out to local police agencies, agencies in Southern California – they had even tried talking to national organizations,” said Eric Safire, Gilton’s attorney. “Every place they turned to turned them away.”

Is that how the cops decided that mom and dad were the prime suspects, because they’d coincidentally been asking for help in stopping Sneed? Or is it because … their daughter told the cops something incriminating? A tantalizing tidbit:

On June 4, Sneed was in San Francisco, driving his Toyota Camry at Meade and LeConte avenues at 2 a.m., when someone – prosecutors say it was Gilton – shot him with a .40-caliber handgun. Sneed crashed into a parked car and died a short time later at San Francisco General Hospital.

A few hours later, police questioned the girl at the Bayview Station, Safire said. On Saturday, her parents were arrested.

I can only assume that they have some hard evidence against the parents (ballistics, presumably) or else they wouldn’t have charged them. Even in California, asking a jury to send mom and dad away because they were desperate to free their little girl from a social parasite is a mighty heavy lift.

Exit question: Assuming they’re convicted, what’s the sentence?



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If I was on the jury I’d convict the parents of…..littering. That’s about the only thing.

Raquel Pinkbullet on June 15, 2012 at 10:15 PM

A pimp is murdered.

And not a single F*CK was given.

McNinja on June 15, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Oh, I don’t know about that – if people like Michael Moore can get teary-eyed when someone like OBL gets “unjustifiably” offed by our oh-so-mean military…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM

ktmol, Capitalist Socialist Hog Piglet, a freaky, anal-retentive person à la joana, was not being congratulatory, but was giving you a sarcastic “Way to go, Mom”.

Bizarro No. 1 on June 15, 2012 at 10:10 PM

You may be right, but I give a rat’s behind. Just trying to get my point across. How do you react when it is your child? I went bananas. Do it again today if it were a child I knew.

katy the mean old lady on June 15, 2012 at 10:19 PM

The parents need to file charges against the pimp and his parents for multiple counts of facilitating rape of an under age child.

As far as I’m concerned, while they’re at it they can add aiding and abetting to the police departments who refused to help.

As for his 1995 charge, 17 years is a long time. (Same age as his daughter-hmmmm!) People change. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt until I know more.

EdmundBurke247 on June 15, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Oh, I don’t know about that – if people like Michael Moore can get teary-eyed when someone like OBL gets “unjustifiably” offed by our oh-so-mean military…

Bizarro No. 1 on June 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Don’t confuse tears with the fat sweats.

McNinja on June 15, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Thanks Kim. I always enjoy your comments. You are a sane logical person.

katy the mean old lady on June 15, 2012 at 9:48 PM

Thank you – appreciate that and husband really appreciated the laugh. Now to get him to stop. ;)

You don’t post nearly enough.

kim roy on June 15, 2012 at 10:29 PM

It wasn’t the parents – it was the ghost of Charles Bronson.

Timothy S. Carlson on June 15, 2012 at 10:34 PM

Thank you – appreciate that and husband really appreciated the laugh. Now to get him to stop. ;)

You don’t post nearly enough.

kim roy on June 15, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Thanks! I just have no patience anymore. Zero patience for pimps. Ran a bar years back in NYC. There were a lot of street ladies on 86th at the time. My policy was to have them come in between 2 and 4.to thaw out in the winter. No solicit and no pimps. Gave them free coffee .The Rev. Louis Gigante always made sure I had someone there to help these women. We just let it happen. Not intrusive, just there. Never got a figure on the recovery, but I do know about 10 who stil stay in touch with me. Google Louis Gigante. Fascinating. I knew all the brothers. What the hell was being talked about at that dinner table?!

katy the mean old lady on June 15, 2012 at 11:03 PM

It wasn’t the parents – it was the ghost of Charles Bronson Paul Kersey.

Timothy S. Carlson on June 15, 2012 at 10:34 PM

.
That’s not a criticism, I just thought it would look cool.

listens2glenn on June 15, 2012 at 11:17 PM

There Goes The Neighborhood on June 15, 2012 at 9:48 PM

You’re the one with the liberal take on law. What other laws would you allow felons to break? Dad was a drug-dealer. In fact if convicted he may be a three-striker.

You stand with a convicted felon, his girlfriend and a prostitute. I stand with the the law.

I’m not sorry for the scum that got killed. He’s dead. I just don’t want another murderer running around deciding when it’s ok to break the law. You gonna trust him during a neighborhood dispute?

What options are available to parents who don’t have friends in law enforcement, and are turned down by the police they do try to solicit help from?

listens2glenn on June 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

That’s the nut right there, great question. It’s deadly serious. Here’s my take:
If the cops won’t touch it that’s a signal for you to also leave it alone OR to make the WHOLE WORLD BELIEVE THAT YOU DID.

Don’t get caught. And if you do – don’t be a felon. If you do then you must deal with the outcome. It would also be nice if you make absolutely sure that no other people would be hurt. The gang-member crashed, right? He could have killed somebody else as a result. This applies to law-abiding citizens who are really in a tight spot. If you’re a felon, sorry. (Go read anexconsview. He’s a felon? who seems to get the redemption thing right. He accepts that he may not be armed and that is his fault. Sucks…but that’s life.)

Also, everybody should have friends in law-enforcement. If you don’t – go buy a cop a beer, tonight, volunteer your time at events where local PD is involved. So many opportunities to give. The gratitude will make you manblush.

Thanks. One of the worst times in my life. She was delivered back to her Mom, cured of a heroin addiction, and became a wonderful person. He was lucky. Just had a quick death . My plan was to gut shoot him, strap him to a bouy and shove him off the waterfront where the hammerhead sharks gathered. That way I could take deep pleasure in his dying screams.

katy the mean old lady on June 15, 2012 at 9:31 PM

Something tells me that you would have accepted your fate if you got caught. You’re my kind of mom. I also suspect that most good men would have found a way to keep you from having to deal with the law.

That’s my point. Respect the law. But that does not mean get caught. It means accepting your punishment if you do. Not all justifiable homicides are legal.

I’m sure that part of my position seems contradictory – life is. But I consider the law the line that once crossed in front of everybody, must be respected or we will all start deciding when and where to flout it.

Capitalist Hog on June 15, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Capitalist Hog on June 15, 2012 at 8:56 PM

joana on June 15, 2012 at 9:04 PM

I hope your children don’t turn out to be drug addicts and prostitutes.

SWalker on June 15, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Exit question: Assuming they’re convicted, what’s the sentence?

Cited for disturbing the peace (gunshots are loud), but let off with a warning. Also, an all-expenses paid stint of family counseling.

Left Coast Right Mind on June 15, 2012 at 11:31 PM

“If I had a son, he’d look like Calvin Sneed” — Zero

glockomatic on June 15, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Not all justifiable homicides are legal.

Capitalist Hog on June 15, 2012 at 11:25 PM

.
And that’s where man’s law “is an ass and an idiot.”

Along similar lines, but taking man’s law (the legality) out of the equation, and inserting God’s Law (the Bible).

“Not all man vs man killings constitute murder.”

listens2glenn on June 15, 2012 at 11:38 PM

What options are available to parents who don’t have friends in law enforcement, and are turned down by the police they do try to solicit help from?

listens2glenn on June 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Also people underestimate the power of surveillance. Don’t make that mistake. Recon and record everything you can about the bad-seed in your garden. Sometimes, often, criminals are most afraid of THEIR OWN FEAR OF GETTING CAUGHT. Read that again.

Criminals are like cheating boyfriends – everything you say to them and do around them makes them nervous of their own crimes. It’s insurmountable narcissism. The unknown inflames that and can be a great tool.

If I approached you on the street and told you everything you did for the past 2 days you would freak, right? It’s worse when you’re guilty. Whatever you do remember that your job is to return home safely.

LE responds to responsive citizens. The local PD dropped the ball with this family. They could have been instructed and guided toward making the situation unavoidable for police.

Make your wheels squeak louder than their sirens or so quietly that nobody knew you were there. Get it?

Capitalist Hog on June 15, 2012 at 11:39 PM

I hope your children don’t turn out to be drug addicts and prostitutes.

SWalker on June 15, 2012 at 11:27 PM

It can happen to the best parents. It’s not likely but it can happen. Again, though you have to take the long view.

Are you the kind of parent who gets their kid to school everyday of the year, yearly? Are you the kind of parent knows all of your kids friends and parents? Are you the kind of person who teaches their kids by example to love and help their literal neighbors? Do you make complete stops at stop signs? What about on bikes? Do you litter? What about gum-wrappers, cigarette-butts? It sounds drastic. It is drastic. Sometimes obeying the law sucks. Do you teach your kid how to deal with that?

I suspect that the kids of those kinds of parents are not as likely to end up selling their hoo-ha on a corner.

Capitalist Hog on June 15, 2012 at 11:51 PM

Capitalist Hog on June 15, 2012 at 11:39 PM

.
I get it. The father had a previous felony, and got caught using a firearm. In that strictest legal sense, he’s indicted and liable to be convicted again.

We’re all going to have to wait for more details to be divulged concerning this case. Right now all we’re doing is judging it on the basis of what the journalists are passing on to us. And I know how much we all love and trust journalists around here, RIGHT?
.
Anyway, expounding on my previous comment:

“Not all man vs man killings constitute murder.”

listens2glenn on June 15, 2012 at 9:22 PM

is this familiar dialogue from “The Big Red One”:

Griff: I can’t murder anybody.

The Sergeant: We don’t murder; we kill.

Griff: It’s the same thing.

The Sergeant: The hell it is, Griff. You don’t murder animals; you kill ‘em.

listens2glenn on June 15, 2012 at 11:59 PM

To all of those folks who are piling on the law enforcement agencies for failing to help this couple: Maybe the reason law enforcement did not help this couple was because legally they could NOT. While many of us believe that a child does not legally become an adult until the age of 18, that is not always the case. In some states, state law allows a 17 year old child to declare their independence and move out of their parents’ home and there is nothing the parent can do to prevent it. If that is the case here (not saying it is; I don’t know California law on this matter), then the daughter made an “adult” decision. Her parents can dislike and disagree with her decisions to consort with a known gang-banger and pimp, but that’s her decision. If the preponderance of evidence at trial shows that they did murder this guy, then they need to also face the consequences of their decision. On the other hand, if California law does not allow for 17-year old emancipation, the police deserve to have their butts handed to them as well. But this question of 17 year-old emancipation also leads to another question or two.

If California law allows 17 year old adolescents to declare their independence and move out of their parents’ home, why did both newspaper articles cited here leave out that potentially critical fact? Could it be that they intended to “slant” their writing so as to give their readers an inaccurate portrayal of law enforcement as being deaf to citizen concerns and incompetent at their jobs?

Cannon Fodder on June 16, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Well, for once, not commit premeditated murder.

Then you go from there.

To lump this sordid story with the case of the dad who saved his child from the rapist is insane.

joana on June 15, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Yes, I agree. The father killing the rapist of a 4 year old was most likely blind rage. If these details are true, this is premeditated murder. You can’t help the first…it is a biological response to seeing your child violated. The second should be prosecuted.

cptacek on June 16, 2012 at 12:23 AM

The government is not your friend. They are interested in taking care of themselves and their interests. Their interests may sometimes coincide with yours, but that’s all it is – coincidence.

Over50 on June 16, 2012 at 12:24 AM

Casebook coldblooded murder. Throw the book at them. The daughter probably left her home for a good reason, natch.

mythicknight on June 16, 2012 at 12:24 AM

We’re all going to have to wait for more details to be divulged concerning this case. Right now all we’re doing is judging it on the basis of what the journalists are passing on to us. And I know how much we all love and trust journalists around here, RIGHT?

This statement is ten times smarter than anything said in this thread. I love it when the truth punctuates conflict.

Thank you.

Capitalist Hog on June 16, 2012 at 12:28 AM

Wait a second.

Anyone been to Compton?

Husband and wife from suburban SF drive down to Compton and gun down a young playa?

What is this? A Spike Lee Movie on bath salts?

Boo-Ya!

CorporatePiggy on June 16, 2012 at 12:37 AM

If this story is true (doubtful) this is not a lifetime movie. This is a Denzel w/ Tony Scott directing movie.

Man on Fire 2.

CorporatePiggy on June 16, 2012 at 12:42 AM

As far as I’m concerned, while they’re at it they can add aiding and abetting to the police departments who refused to help.

Heh, and the cops unions always say they need more tax dollars to “protect” the citizens….

Just give everyone a gun and fire all the cops….there I just saved America $69,000,000,000……

redguy on June 16, 2012 at 12:45 AM

the sentence for murder in CA is 15 to life. the prosecution can cut them a deal, though.

the idea that these people should walk is ridiculous. he might have been her pimp, or he might have just been her boyfriend and the parents are calling him a pimp to blame him for her daughter turning to prostitution. the only people calling him a pimp at this point are the murderers.

their own daughter is going to be the star witness against them, I’d bet. you think she will forgive them for the murder? a LOT of parents hate the men their daughters run off with, but that doesn’t mean you can kill them.

police take any sex charges very seriously. i don’t believe that the cops blew the parents off. i just don’t buy it at all. if anything, the police over-react in response to any possible sex charges thanks to endless federal task force funding.

kaltes on June 16, 2012 at 12:51 AM

So many barrack-room lawyers on HA these days.

CorporatePiggy on June 16, 2012 at 1:16 AM

Thanks! I just have no patience anymore. Zero patience for pimps. Ran a bar years back in NYC. There were a lot of street ladies on 86th at the time. My policy was to have them come in between 2 and 4.to thaw out in the winter. No solicit and no pimps. Gave them free coffee .The Rev. Louis Gigante always made sure I had someone there to help these women. We just let it happen. Not intrusive, just there. Never got a figure on the recovery, but I do know about 10 who stil stay in touch with me. Google Louis Gigante. Fascinating. I knew all the brothers. What the hell was being talked about at that dinner table?!

katy the mean old lady on June 15, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Colorful sounding fellow. Not someone that one would want to irritate. ;)

Wiki tries to link him to the mafia, but that’s wiki.

Absolutely nothing wrong with not having patience for idiocy. If more people were like that maybe it wouldn’t be so celebrated. :/

Difficult thread and hope you are doing okay.

kim roy on June 16, 2012 at 1:48 AM

If convicted my sentence would be time served.

If the story is true and they tried everything to free their daughter then I don’t blame them for taking matters into their own hands and certainly have no sympathy for the pimp.

Pimpin ain’t easy man.

moniker11 on June 16, 2012 at 2:42 AM

If everything is exactly as it seems, then I do think they should be charged but given nothing more than a slap on the wrist. The police department on the other hand would appear to have blood on its hands and should be tried accordingly.

If we don’t want vigilianties, we better damn well enforce the law.

What were the parents supposed to do? Apparently wait to bury their child as a best case scenario and never see her again as the worst.

Esthier on June 16, 2012 at 5:34 AM

3-7-77

tommyboy on June 16, 2012 at 5:49 AM

Thank you to two heroes for doing what those sworn to protect and serve would not do!

redware on June 16, 2012 at 6:31 AM

“Lifetime Network executive gets idea for greatest TV movie ever.”

Cast Harvey Keitel as the pimp, right?

Tom_Shipley on June 16, 2012 at 8:57 AM

No difference between this and the Texas case last week. The parents (or whoever) did society a favor.

FireBlogger on June 16, 2012 at 9:37 AM

No difference between this and the Texas case last week. The parents (or whoever) did society a favor.

FireBlogger on June 16, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Big difference. Premeditation vs in the moment.

cptacek on June 16, 2012 at 9:50 AM

If what is alleged is true, it’s premeditated murder. And we can’t have that happen. I just hope the daughter understands the sacrifice her parents made for her, because they may end up doing very hard time to give her a second chance at life.

Mr. D on June 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM

How about sentencing the cops that did not do their job. Send them to jail for 20 years to life.

If government is too small (or refuses to do its job) then you have anarchy, where the people abuse each other.

If government is too large, you have tyranny, where the government abuses the people.

The primary duty of government is to protect the rights of the people. If the government refuses to do their duty it is the same as having no government. If your government does not exist then you must fill the void and take the law into your own hands or die.

Liberals refuse to enforce the laws except when they violate some liberal sacred cow.

Liberalism: Destroying freedom from both ends (promoting anarchy and tyranny) since 1885.

The Rock on June 16, 2012 at 10:57 AM

I would alibi them.

Working on my testimony right now!

socalcon on June 16, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Just an observation, the LA attempt was nine shots and only injuries was due to glass? Clearly they can’t shoot straight. If I’m reading that right, get that to the defense.

socalcon on June 16, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Wait, first it is a 9mm, then it is a .40 S&W? The cops better make up their minds before trial.

Bulletchaser on June 16, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Unfortunately, most law-abiding people don’t know how to “take care of business” without being caught. Sadly, most career felons do.
May The Anarchist Cookbook be your guide.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on June 16, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Even in California, asking a jury to send mom and dad away because they were desperate to free their little girl from a social parasite is a mighty heavy lift.

No, that is not a heavy lift. Community standards in California strongly favor the criminal. For heaven’s sake, they vote them into office at every election. The only conundrum a jury will face is the imposition of a toothless death penalty.

NOMOBO on June 16, 2012 at 11:58 AM

joana on June 15, 2012 at 8:39 PM

Seriously? You’re still here spouting your hate-filled, illogical rants? You need to get a life.

Dunedainn on June 16, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Stop making me personal questions, you creep.

joana on June 15, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Take that as a no. Let’s not change that, shall we please? The thought of you reproducing…I shiver to think of the effect it would have on our species.

Dunedainn on June 16, 2012 at 1:40 PM

If I was on the jury I’d convict the parents of…..littering. That’s about the only thing.

Raquel Pinkbullet on June 15, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Only if they didn’t pick up the spent casings. If they did, disturbing the peace. Those 40 cals are loud.

jack herman on June 16, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I don’t feel as comfortable with this case as I did the dad who was defending the daughter. That being said as a parent I certainly understand their position and probably would have done the same even at the risk of going to jail.

melle1228 on June 16, 2012 at 2:19 PM

This is case that calls for jury nullification. I understand what the parents were going through. The system offered them no relief. Their love for their daughter transcended all and they were willing to sacrifice themselves for her welfare.

scrubjay on June 16, 2012 at 3:41 PM

It couldn’t have been the parents. They were with me at the time.

What were their names again?

Laura in Maryland on June 16, 2012 at 4:39 PM

If these details are true, this is premeditated murder. [...] The second should be prosecuted.

Oh, I definitely agree, they should be prosecuted.

That said, don’t put me on the jury if you want a conviction.

At this point I’d be pushing for an Obstruction of Justice conviction for all the cops involved in the story, especially the ones down in LA who did so little to help get a minor out of a horrible situation.

nerdbert on June 16, 2012 at 5:14 PM

There Goes The Neighborhood on June 15, 2012 at 9:48 PM

You’re the one with the liberal take on law. What other laws would you allow felons to break? Dad was a drug-dealer. In fact if convicted he may be a three-striker.

You stand with a convicted felon, his girlfriend and a prostitute. I stand with the the law.

Capitalist Hog on June 15, 2012 at 11:25 PM

I didn’t say anything about the law, but let’s be honest: there are no heros here. The runaway teenaged daughter is turning tricks. The gangbanger — let’s not dignify him by calling him a boyfriend — was pimping her out. The father had a drug conviction, although it was years ago. It appears they never married.

But even flawed people can care about their children. And it appears they labored hard to try to separate their daughter from her pimp, which strongly indicates they did care. They were said to have begged the police for help. But of course, it’s hard to get the police to dedicate resources for what many see as a “victimless” crime.

But it’s interesting to me that conservatives who are accused of being without compassion naturally have compassion for the parents, while liberals just naturally tend to sympathize with the low-lifes. That may just explain why crime is so bad now. Every law and reform is bent towards aiding the criminal, giving them the benefit of the doubt, throwing out evidence if any case can be made that the criminal was not properly informed of their rights at the right time.

There are so many rulings that shelter the criminals, and certainly many are good. But the end result seems to be to empower the criminals and frustrate the law enforcement and prosecutors. Certainly, these parents — flawed or not — were unable to get any help for their daughter from the police.

Does that justify killing the pimp? No. But it’s an extenuating circumstance at the very least.

It’s hard not to sympathize with parents who took drastic measures to protect their daughter.

And of course this all assumes that the parents turn out to be guilty, which has not yet been established.

There Goes The Neighborhood on June 17, 2012 at 12:25 AM

In fairness to the police, those traffic tickets aren’t gonna write themselves. Cha-ching!

sandberg on June 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Sounds like a clear cut case of Misdemeanor Homicide.

I would sentence them to three months community service counseling other parents of underage sex workers.

schmuck281 on June 18, 2012 at 12:42 AM

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