GANG MEMBER FACES TRIAL FOR 1996 COLD CASE STABBING-MURDER OF RIVAL

For Immediate Release
Case # 09ZF0066






June 18, 2012

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 FACES TRIAL FOR 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 faces trial tomorrow for the 1996 cold case stabbing-murder of rival gang member in Fullerton. Joe Luis Garay, Jr., 36, La Habra, is charged with one felony count of murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison. Opening statements are scheduled to begin tomorrow, Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at 10:00 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 4 years in state prison at his scheduled sentencing Sept. 7, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center. Carlson is expected to testify regarding his knowledge of the murder at the trial.

 

At approximately 8:00 p.m., on March 5, 1996, Garay is accused of driving in a car with Carlson 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 are accused of stopping their car, getting out, and attacking Gorena. Garay and Carlson are accused of punching and stabbing the victim multiple times. Gorena’s girlfriend’s mother heard screaming from outside and called 911. The defendants are accused of fleeing 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 after new witness evidence became available. Charges were filed for the murder in March 2009.

 

Senior Deputy District Attorney Larry Yellin of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case. 

 

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