0

Convicted killer faces second trial
Man to face two counts of murder in local court

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Snellville man convicted of killing two men in gang-related shootings was brought back to Gwinnett this week to face a second trial.

Once known as "Stranger" to his Brownside Locos brethren, Alex Romero, 30, was sentenced in federal court in January to serve 33 years without parole for his role in two Gwinnett killings.

Federal prosecutors proved Romero was involved in the July 22, 2001, murder of Karlin Antunez along Peachtree Industrial Boulevard in Norcross. He was also convicted of killing Aldo Vallejo on Oct. 27 the following year near an exit ramp off Ga. Highway 120.

Now local prosecutors want their turn.

Jail records show Romero was shipped back to Gwinnett Monday night from United States Penitentiary, Atwater - a high-security facility outside San Francisco.

Romero was indicted by a Gwinnett grand jury in November 2005 for his role in the killings, and now he'll face two counts of murder in a local court.

District Attorney Danny Porter said the trial will allow local prosecutors to resolve their case against Romero.

A hearing date has not been set.

"We're trying to resolve our case," Porter said. "It remains to be seen if he'll get more time."

Romero's last address in Gwinnett was 3199 Hidden Bluff Trail.

Upon his federal conviction, U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said Romero's prison sentence would help diffuse the formerly menacing Brownside Locos - a metro Atlanta street gang responsible for "inflicting fear and causing mayhem in our communities," he said.