Barry Gilton and longtime girlfriend Lupe Mercado were at the end of their rope.
They had tried everything they could think of to rescue their 17-year old daughter from a life of prostitution, but nothing worked. That's why, prosecutors allege, they turned to murder.
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Around 2 a.m. on June 4, 22-year old Compton native Calvin Sneed was driving through San Francisco's Bayview district when someone fired .40-caliber gunshots into his Toyota Camry. The shots caused the car to crash into a parked vehicle and Sneed died at San Francisco General Hospital soon after.
Sneed was Gilton and Mercado's daughter's pimp. Authorities believe that, not only was it one of them that pulled the trigger, but the incident wasn't the first time the girl's parents had attempted murder.
A few years ago, their daughter ran away from home. After a good bit of searching, they discovered she had turned to prostitution and that Sneed was acting as her pimp. At first, they tried to work through legal channels to get her back, but to no avail.
"They had gone out to local police agencies, agencies in Southern California--they had even tried talking to national organizations," Gilton's attorney, Eric Safire, explained to the San Francisco Chronicle. "Every place they turned to turned them away."
According to Safire, it stopped there. The couple never attempted to take the law into their own hands.
"The motive is all they [prosecutors] have, as far as we're concerned," Mercado's attorney Tony Tamburello said, the Daily Mail reports. "This would not be the first time the police and prosecutors got it wrong."
Police, on the other hand, tell a different story.
They say that late last month, Gilton and Mercado tracked Sneed to the Los Angeles neighborhood of North Hollywood and fired 9mm rounds into his car. Sneed escaped unharmed and the shooter disappeared without a trace.
Police were only able to identify Gilton and Mercado as possible suspects when, after the June 4 incident in San Francisco, their daughter accompanied Sneed to the hospital. She was questioned by police and, soon after, her parents were brought in.
The pair faces counts of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and discharging a firearm at an occupied vehicle. Gilton, a Muni driver who was convicted in drug charges in the mid-1990s, is also charged with illegally possessing a firearm while a convicted felon. Both could end up serving life in prison.
They are currently each being held on $2 million bail.
For more, take a look at the CBS News report below: