Pimp shot dead by parents of 17-year old runaway

Yahoo!7 June 16, 2012, 5:37 pm

A pair of vigilante parents who wanted revenge on the man they believe was their 17-year old daughter's pimp, allegedly shot dead the 22-year old son of a prison minister.

Police will allege Lupe Mercado, 37, and Barry Gilton, 38, hunted down Los Angeles man Calvin Sneed and shot him to his death.

The couple had reportedly wounded Sneed after firing at his car only days before the June 4 attack that killed him.

Prosecutors say the parents of a teenage runaway daughter killed Sneed as a last resort after exhausting all other options to stop her being pimped out.

Sneed's father Charles, a reformed criminal turned prison minister, warned his son of the repercussions of such activities, but denies Mercado and Gilton had the right to gun him down in cold blood.

"They didn't wait for the judge; the trial. They did it right then and there in the street," he said.

"They became God for a moment."

Gilton's attorney said the parents had initially reached out to local police agencies and national organisations for assistance, but were turned away.

Charles Sneed insists his son had only just dropped off the girl near her home before he was shot with a .40 calibre handgun, which caused the gang member to crash his car.

He also says he tried to stage an intervention for his son a month before his death to convince him to leave his criminal occupation.

"I wrote him letters saying, 'You have to realise that you're pimping somebody's daughter, somebody's sister,'

"What else could a father do? Besides kidnapping him and putting him in a cage until his mind gets right," admitted Sneed.

The pair are being held on $US2 million bail on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle.

If convicted, Mercado faces 25 years to life in prison and Gilton could be sentenced to life without parole.