|For Immediate Release
Case # 05CF2584
July 24, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
GANG MEMBER SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE FOR KIDNAPPING-MURDER OF 16-YEAR-OLD BOY AND ORDERING CO-DEFENDANT GANG MEMBERS TO BURN AND DESTROY THE BODY
SANTA ANA – A gang member was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for murdering a 16-year-old boy and ordering his fellow gang members to set the body on fire to destroy the evidence. Jorge Andrade, 29, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury on May 20, 2009, of one felony count of special circumstances murder and one felony count of street terrorism with sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity and murder committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
Two additional co-defendants were also charged in this case. Jose Avina Cortez Jr., 34, and Teofilo Penaloza Medina, 32, both of Santa Ana, are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on Aug. 14, 2009, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-40, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On Aug. 4, 2004, 16-year-old Innocente Bererra drove with a male friend to a residence in Santa Ana to pick up a female friend. The victim was not a gang member. When Bererra arrived at the residence, Andrade and several co-defendants, all members of a Hispanic criminal street gang, surrounded his car and demanded to know where the victim was from. The defendants did not know the victim. Bererra’s passenger was able to get out of the car and escape, but Andrade and two of the co-defendants got into the car with Bererra and drove away.
The defendants forced the victim into the back seat of the car and drove him to a nearby neighborhood. Andrade and his co-defendants murdered Bererra by shooting him twice in the chest. Andrade then ordered his two co-defendants to use a 5-gallon container of gasoline to set the car and victim’s body on fire to destroy the evidence. The defendants then fled the scene.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jerry Schaffer of the TARGET Unit prosecuted this case.