GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF SHOOTING-MURDER OF MAN DURING DRUG THEFT

For Immediate Release
Case # 10CF2457, 10CF2449,
            
10CF2458






March 8, 2013

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF SHOOTING-MURDER OF MAN DURING DRUG THEFT

 

SANTA ANA – A criminal street gang member was convicted yesterday of the shooting-murder of a man to steal his drugs. Joseph Baez, 28, Orange, was found guilty by a jury March 7, 2013, of one felony count of second degree murder with sentencing enhancements for committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang, street terrorism, being a gang member vicariously discharging a firearm causing death, and criminal street gang activity. He has a prior strike conviction for assault with a deadly weapon in 2008. He faces a maximum sentence of 85 years to life in state prison at his sentencing June 14, 2013, in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

Co-defendant Robert Reil, 33, Orange, was found guilty by a jury March 7, 2012, of one felony count each of first degree murder during the commission of a robbery, conspiracy to commit a robbery, street terrorism, and being an active participant in criminal street gang having a concealed firearm in a vehicle. The sentencing enhancements for being a gang member vicariously discharging a firearm causing death and criminal street gang activity were found true. He was sentenced May 11, 2012, to 50 years to life in state prison.

 

Co-defendant Christian Galindo, 27, pleaded guilty Nov. 18, 2011, of one felony count each of voluntary manslaughter, and being an active participant in criminal street gang, with a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. He was sentenced to 12 years and four months in state prison.

 

Co-defendant Amour Villamar, 33, Orange, is charged with one felony count of first degree murder during in the commission of a robbery with sentencing enhancements for being a gang member vicariously discharging a firearm causing death, criminal street gang activity, and two prison prior convictions for possession of methamphetamine for sale in 2004 and unlawful taking of a car in 2009. Villamar is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing March 15, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. in Department C-45, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

On Jan. 3, 2010, Baez, Reil, and Galindo plotted to steal drugs from a man associated with fellow gang member Villamar. The defendants called Villamar and asked her to contact her drug dealer, Bernal Ezquivel Felix, to set up a meeting. Later that night, Villamar is accused of setting up a meeting in Orange with her co-defendants and Felix.

 

At approximately 11:00 p.m., Baez and Reil took firearms and went with Galindo and Villamar to meet Felix with the intention of robbing him. They pulled over in a residential area on Oak Street in Orange. While Galindo waited in his dark Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), Baez and Reil exited the SUV and hid nearby out of sight from Felix, who was in his white sedan driving slowly on Oak Street. Villamar exited Galindo’s SUV and got into the backseat of Felix’s slow-moving car under the pretense of purchasing drugs. Baez sneaked up to the driver’s side window of Felix’s car and murdered him by shooting the victim through the window. The victim’s car was still moving and came to a stop after hitting a parked car on the street. Villamar exited the victim’s vehicle empty-handed and all of the defendants returned to Galindo’s waiting vehicle. The four gang members then fled the scene.