|For Immediate Release
Case # 09ZF0066
June 28, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF 1996 COLD CASE STABBING-MURDER OF RIVAL
*One co-defendant has also been convicted and is awaiting sentencing in this case
SANTA ANA – A gang member has been convicted of the 1996 cold case stabbing-murder of rival gang member in Fullerton. Joe Luis Garay, Jr., 36, La Habra, was found guilty by a jury June 27, 2012, of one felony count of murder. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison at his sentencing Aug. 24, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Co-defendant Kevin Jerome Carlson, 38, Chino Hills, pleaded guilty July 2, 2010, to one felony count of aggravated assault and is facing a maximum sentence of four years in state prison at his sentencing Sept. 7, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center.
At approximately 8:00 p.m., on March 5, 1996, Garay and Carlson drove into a rival gang neighborhood with the intention of assaulting any rival gang member they could find. The defendants came across 16-year-old rival gang member, Troy Gorena, who was waiting outside of his girlfriend’s home in Fullerton while she was inside getting money from her mother to go to a local market. Garay and Carlson stopped their car, got out, and attacked Gorena. Garay and Carlson punched and stabbed the victim multiple times. Gorena’s girlfriend’s mother heard screaming from outside and called 911. The defendants fled the scene. Gorena died as he was being transported to the hospital by paramedics.
In August 1996, Garay and Carlson were arrested for the murder of Gorena. Charges were filed against Garay and Carlson for the murder, but later dismissed due to insufficient evidence.
In April 2008, the Fullerton Police Department and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office began re-investigating the 1996 murder. Charges were filed for the murder in March 2009.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.