Man sentenced for love triangle shooting after 30 years on the run

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VISTA, Calif. — A 30-year fugitive who fled to Mexico after shooting his friend in a dispute over a woman was sentenced to nine years in state prison Thursday.

Simon Mayo, 58, pleaded guilty last month to assault with a firearm causing great bodily injury for the Dec. 12, 1988, shooting of Jose Hernandez in Rancho Santa Fe. Under the plea agreement, an attempted murder charge was dismissed at sentencing.

Mayo fired at least five times on Hernandez, who suffered three gunshot wounds in the back, Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe said. The shooting took place outside a residence on Luna de Miel.

Mayo remained a fugitive until authorities caught up with him in Austin, Texas, last Dec. 11, one day short of the 30-year anniversary of the shooting.

Prosecutors said Mayo and the victim were both vying for the affections of the same woman, whom Mayo married sometime afterward.

The victim did not wish to appear at Mayo’s sentencing hearing, but according to Watanabe, the man said he was thankful the matter was finally over three decades later and that the defendant admitted his guilt.

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