GANG MEMBER SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE FOR SHOOTING TWO INNOCENT GARDENERS, MURDERING ONE AND INJURING THE OTHER

OCDASeal

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 08ZF0027



 


January 28, 2011

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 SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE FOR SHOOTING TWO INNOCENT GARDENERS, MURDERING ONE AND INJURING THE OTHER

SANTA ANA – A criminal street gang member was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for murdering an innocent gardener and injuring another in an unproved shooting for the benefit of his gang. Sergio Martinez, 33, Stanton, was found guilty by a jury Nov. 10, 2010, of one felony count each of special circumstances murder, possession of a firearm by a felon, street terrorism, and two felony counts of attempted murder. The sentencing enhancements for criminal street gang activity, great bodily injury, the personal discharge of a firearm, personal discharge of a firearm causing death, and personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury were found true. Martinez has a prior strike conviction for assault with a deadly weapon in 1996.

Co-defendant Juan Carlos Castillo, 27, Anaheim, pleaded guilty Dec. 10, 2010, to one felony count each of voluntary manslaughter, attempted murder, and street terrorism. He was sentenced to six years in state prison.

On June 24, 2006, Martinez approached a group of young men on Olinda Lane in Anaheim, argued with them and pulled out a firearm. He pointed the gun at the crowd and pulled the trigger several times, but the gun malfunctioned and did not fire. Martinez fled the scene to an apartment at 3421 Olinda Lane.

At approximately 7:00 p.m. on June 26, 2006, Martinez was at the Olinda Lane apartment. Castillo provided Martinez with a loaded firearm and Martinez left the apartment and started walking toward Ariel Place. Victims Jorge Flores and Fausto Acevedo, who worked together as gardeners, were on the corner of Ariel Place and Canoga Street. They were talking and drinking beers together with a few other men when Martinez approached them and asked them where they were from. Martinez pulled out a firearm and pointed it at victim Acevedo’s chest and stomach.

Jorge Flores tried to swipe the gun away, but Martinez pulled back and started running. Martinez ran backwards watching as both victims chased after him. Martinez fired several rounds, hitting 30-year-old Flores in the chest, murdering him. Martinez also shot 23-year-old Acevedo, permanently lodging a bullet in his left hand. Martinez fled the scene. He committed the murder for the benefit of his gang to prove that it was “[his] neighborhood.”

The Anaheim Police Department investigated the case and arrested Martinez shortly after being identified by witnesses at the crime scene.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Colleen Crommett of the Gang Unit prosecuted this case.

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