Men guilty of Fresno slaying

July 2, 2013 

— Two Fresno men were convicted of murder Monday in the 2011 shooting death of another man at a Fresno hotel during an attempted robbery.

A jury of five men and seven women deliberated two hours to find Brandon Patterson, 24, and Robert Anthony Garcia, 23, guilty of first-degree murder. Each faces state prison terms of 25 years to life when they are sentenced Sept. 9 in front of Fresno County Superior Court Judge Wayne Ellison.

The two men were convicted of killing Leonard Vivian, 25, because they wanted to steal money and valuable coins they believed he was carrying, according to prosecutors.

It was thought Vivian had access to tens of thousands of dollars of gold and silver coins and cash. No robbery or attempted robbery charges were filed in the case.

He was shot about 1:40 a.m. on April 29, 2011, in a hotel room at Highway 99 and Ashlan Avenue as the men delivered $100 of methamphetamine bought for Vivian by a female friend. He died at the scene.

"I respect the jury's decision, but I do believe they got it wrong," said Amy Guerra, Patterson's lawyer.

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