|For Immediate Release
March 26, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF MURDERING TWO AND SHOOTING TWO OTHERS, INCLUDING INNOCENT MAN WORKING AT CORN ON THE COB CART
FULLERTON – A gang member was convicted yesterday of murdering two rivals, shooting a third, and paralyzing an innocent man working at a corn on the cob cart while participating in two gang related shootings. Norberto Hernandez, 24, was found guilty by a jury of two felony counts of special circumstances murder for committing multiple murders for the benefit of a criminal street gang, one felony count of attempted murder, two felony counts of street terrorism, one felony count of assault with a firearm, and sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and the vicarious discharge of a firearm as a gang member causing death and bodily injury. He faces a maximum sentence of life without parole at his sentencing on June 5, 2009, in Department N-10, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
Angel Garcia, 20, was convicted by a jury Jan. 26, 2009, of two felony counts of special circumstances murder for committing multiple murders for the benefit of a criminal street gang, one felony count of attempted murder, one felony count of street terrorism, and sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and the vicarious discharge of a firearm as a gang member causing death and bodily injury. He is scheduled to be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole on May 8, 2009, in Department C-38, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Four additional co-defendants were juveniles at the time of the crimes and are being prosecuted as adults. Juan Roldan, 19, and Oiram Roman Ayala, 19, both face the same charges as Hernandez and are scheduled to face trial June 8, 2009, in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. Marco Antonio Perez, 16, and Prospero Guadarrama, 18, both face the same charges as Garcia. Perez is scheduled to face trial April 27, 2009, in Department C-30. Guadarrama is scheduled to face trial May 11, 2009, in Department C-30.
Hernandez is a member of a Hispanic Santa Ana criminal street gang. On Dec. 15, 2006, Hernandez and two fellow gang members, Roldan and Ayala, walked into a rival gang neighborhood with a firearm in search of rival gang members. The defendant and his fellow gang members found a group of rivals, and the two gangs began shooting at each other. Victim Gumaro Rojas, then-47, was nearby selling corn on the cob from his street vendor cart and was caught in the crossfire. Rojas, who was an innocent civilian, was shot in the back, penetrating his spinal cord. He remains paralyzed from the waist down. The defendants fled the scene.
Two days later, on Dec. 17, 2006, Hernandez was riding in a car with fellow gang members Perez, Guadarrama, Roldan, Ayala, and Garcia. The defendants were armed with two firearms and drove around Santa Ana searching for rival gang members to murder. While driving through a rival gang neighborhood, the defendants noticed three rivals, 14-year-old Angel Secundino, 15-year-old Gabriel Perez, and 16-year-old Fernando Garcia. The defendants stopped the car, got out, and confronted the victims. The defendants then murdered Secundino and Perez by shooting them execution-style in the head. Victim Garcia was shot in the stomach and was left in a coma. He survived after undergoing seven surgeries. The defendants fled the scene.
During deliberations in Hernandez’s trial, the jury was initially divided as to the law regarding premeditation and deliberation.