Jose Armando Bran appeals life sentences

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Richmond-area MS-13 gang leader who ordered two teenagers to shoot one man and attack another is appealing his convictions and life sentences.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals received Jose Armando Bran's notice of appeal Friday. Bran was convicted of murder, maiming and conspiracy. U.S. District Judge Robert Payne sentenced Bran to two consecutive life terms on Aug. 16.

A jury found Bran guilty of ordering the slaying of Osbin Noel Hernandez-Gonzales, who was fatally shot as part of an initiation ritual in Richmond in July 2011. Bran also was convicted of ordering the January 2012 maiming of Florentino Ayala, who was stabbed 15 times but survived.

The teens who carried out the attacks also were convicted and were sentenced to 34 years and 18 years in prison.