|For Immediate Release
May 23, 2007
Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
HISPANIC GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF MURDER IN RETALIATORY GANG SHOOTING OF ASIAN MAN
SANTA ANA – A gang member was convicted today of murdering a man in a retaliatory gang shooting in Santa Ana. Antonio Barboza, 19, Santa Ana, was found guilty of murder and street terrorism, and the special circumstance sentencing enhancements for committing a murder for the purpose of a criminal street gang and for vicariously discharging a firearm causing death as a gang member were found true. He faces a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole at his sentencing on August 10, 2007 in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Co-defendant Sergio Gonzalez, 16, Santa Ana, who was charged at age 15 and direct filed as an adult, is charged with murder and street terrorism, and the special circumstance sentencing enhancements for committing a murder for the purpose of a criminal street gang and for personally discharging a firearm causing death as a gang member. He is scheduled for trial August 7, 2007 at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30 of the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
On September 11, 2006, at around 6:00 p.m., Barboza, along with a few other members of his Hispanic Santa Ana criminal street gang, approached three Asian men sitting in a car in the 1500 block of South Minnie. He surrounded the car and demanded to know where the three men were from. Gonzalez is accused of pulling out a gun as Barboza stood by and shooting the front passenger, Sam Chea, 23, three times in the back as Chea tried to turn away. Chea later died.
Barboza and his accused co-defendant murdered the victim in retaliation for a gang stabbing that occurred three hours earlier. Chea was not involved in the earlier gang fight, in which Gonzalez’s 14-year-old younger brother was stabbed near Century High School in Santa Ana by five Asian men.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Mark Geller of the Gang Unit is prosecuting this case.