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Update on Weathersby Case

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A state appeals court upheld the conviction of a reputed gang member for a drive-by shooting that wounded former Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dennis Weathersby.

Juan Serna, 26, is serving a life sentence. He was convicted in 2003 of attempting to murder Weathersby and a second man. A Superior Court jury in Pasadena also convicted him of two counts of shooting from a motor vehicle and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected an argument that there was insufficient evidence to convict Serna of trying to murder Weathersby's friend.

The judges found that Weathersby's friend "was clearly in the area of risk from the hail of bullets."

Weathersby was getting into his car on April 20, 2003, when several alleged gang members drove up and opened fire at him near his hometown of Duarte, authorities said.

The two men had been mistaken for rival gang members, authorities said.

Weathersby was hit by a bullet that entered his back below his lungs, passed through his torso and lodged in his upper left arm. His friend escaped injury.

The former Oregon State star had been expected to be a first- or second-round draft pick in the NFL draft. Instead, the Bengals picked him in the fourth round a week after the shooting.

He played four games in 2003 before being sidelined by a shoulder injury, then missed the entire season last year because of a head injury he sustained in an auto accident. He was cut in March because he was unable to pass a physical.

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