SIBLINGS TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF INNOCENT MAN OUTSIDE SANTA ANA RESTAURANT

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


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

For Immediate Release
Case # 11CF0470, 11CF0465 






February 23, 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

SIBLINGS TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR SHOOTING-MURDER OF INNOCENT MAN OUTSIDE SANTA ANA RESTAURANT

 

SANTA ANA – A third defendant was charged today for the unprovoked shooting-murder of an innocent man outside of a restaurant in Santa Ana.  Maria Isabel Rocha, 28, Santa Ana, is charged (Case #TBA) with one felony count of murder with sentencing enhancements for the vicarious discharge of a firearm causing death by a gang member and criminal street gang activity. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison.

 

Maria Rocha’s brother Ricardo Guerra Rocha, 17, Santa Ana, was charged Feb. 22, 2011, as an adult. He is charged (Case #11CF0470) with the same counts as Maria Rocha with an additional felony count of street terrorism. He faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison if convicted.

 

Maria and Ricardo Rocha are both being held on $1 million bail and are expected to be arraigned today, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.

 

Ivan Sanchez, 21, Santa Ana, (Case #11CF0465) was charged Feb. 22, 2011, with one felony count each of special circumstances murder and street terrorism with sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death, murder committed for a criminal street gang purpose, and criminal street gang activity. If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. The defendant is being held without bail and is scheduled for arraignment March 2, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. in Department CJ-1, Central Jail.

 

On the night of Feb. 13, 2011, Sanchez, Rocha, and Rocha, are accused of getting into an argument with an unknown group of people at Mariscos La Ola restaurant in Santa Ana over which state in Mexico was better. The three defendants are accused of leaving the restaurant, driving to get a firearm, and returning to the parking lot several minutes later.

 

When the defendants arrived back at the restaurant, 35-year-old Esteban Navarrete was leaving the restaurant and getting into his car with his wife and friend. He did not know the defendants. Maria Rocha is accused of being the driver and waiting in the car for her co-defendants. Sanchez and Ricardo Rocha are both accused of being documented criminal street gang members. The male defendants are accused of getting out of the car and approaching the victims’ vehicle. Navarrete, who is not associated with any criminal street gang, got out of his vehicle to explain that he and his passengers were not involved in the earlier argument.

 

Sanchez is accused of then murdering Navarrete by shooting him one time in the head. The defendant is accused of firing several shots, but the other victims were not hit. Sanchez and Ricardo Rocha are accused of getting back into the vehicle and Maria Rocha is accused of driving the defendants away from the scene.

 

The Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) investigated this case. On Feb. 17, 2011, Sanchez was arrested after SAPD performed a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by 20-ye