Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
GANG MEMBER BROTHERS SENTENCED TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF 17-YEAR-OLD FOR “DISRESPECTING” THEIR GANG
*Jury had given shooter a break nine days earlier in unrelated case after testimony by a parole officer
FULLERTON – Two brothers were sentenced today for the shooting- murder of a 17-year-old boy for “disrespecting” their criminal street gang. Juan Pablo Garcia, 30, and brother Jorge Armando Garcia, 32, both of Santa Ana, were found guilty by a jury April 12, 2011, of one felony count each of murder and street terrorism with sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and murder committed for a criminal street gang purpose. The sentencing enhancement against Jorge Garcia for the vicarious discharge of a firearm by a gang member causing death was found true. The sentencing enhancements against Juan Garcia for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and crime-bail-crime, denoting that he was out of custody for another crime at the time of the murder, were found true. Juan Garcia has five prior strike convictions from 1997 for kidnapping, robbery, kidnapping to commit robbery, carjacking, and street terrorism, one prior strike conviction from 2003 for street terrorism, and one prior conviction from 2007 for possession of a deadly weapon. They were both sentenced to life in state prison without the possibility of parole with an additional 37 years to life for Juan Garcia and an additional 25 years to life for Jorge Garcia.
At approximately 4:00 p.m. on Nov. 18, 2007, 17-year-old Jose Granillo was hanging out with friends in the parking area of a Santa Ana apartment complex. Jorge Garcia became involved in a verbal argument with the victim and the defendant and Granillo asserted their respective gang names to one another. Jorge Garcia and Granillo did not know each other. The defendant became angry because he believed Granillo had disrespected him.
Jorge left the apartment complex and drove to pick up his brother Juan Garcia with the intention of returning to murder the victim. Juan Garcia brought a firearm. Granillo was still in the parking area when the defendants arrived. Juan Garcia got out of the vehicle, approached the victim, and shot him one time in the chest as Jorge waited in the car as the get-away driver. The defendants then fled the scene. As his friends were waiting for paramedics, Granillo told them, “I’m dying. Tell my mother that I love her.” He died less than three hours later.
Nine days prior to the murder on Nov. 9, 2007, Juan Garcia was convicted by a jury of possession of a deadly weapon. Parole officer Lori Muir, who had befriended the defendant, testified during that trial that he was no longer a gang member and had cleaned up his life. Based on that testimony, the jury found the defendant not guilty of street terrorism and various gang enhancements. In a note to the judge, the jury requested a lenient sentence for Juan Garcia, who was scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 4, 2008. Pending his sentencing, the Court allowed the defendant to remain free and out of custody. While out of custody awaiting sentencing, and only nine days after being acquitted on gang charges, Juan Garcia committed the gang murder.
Today during the sentencing, Granillo’s mother told the court how the crime has impacted her life saying, “The opportunities to say ‘I love you’ are gone forever; joy is gone forever. There are no family celebrations… our family does not deserve to live with this pain.”
Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino of the Gang Unit prosecuted