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Saturday, 13 March 2010

Albert Hernandez and Matthew Ruiz defendants, ages 17 and 18, respectively, are accused of fatally shooting 15-year-old Rodolfo Cristobal


23:21 | , , ,

Albert Hernandez and Matthew Ruiz defendants, ages 17 and 18, respectively, are accused of fatally shooting 15-year-old Rodolfo Cristobal and 14-year-old Ociel Montiel, and wounding two other teens Oct. 14. The shooting happened about 5:30 p.m. in packed gray Honda Accord in the 700 block of Archer Street.
Police say Hernandez and Ruiz are Norteño gang members who, in an orchestrated ruse, pretended to be Sureños to gain the trust of the four victims.
Larkin said witnesses stated Ruiz and Hernandez, sitting in the rear seat, fired at the four boys, ranging in age from 14 to 17, while driving near Hartnell College. Cristobal, an Alisal High School sophomore, died immediately after arriving at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital. Montiel, a Salinas Community School student, died two days later. A third teen is now paralyzed from injuries he received, Larkin testified.
The two teens were arrested roughly two weeks after the shooting.
"From my opinion, I think it was very sophisticated," said Salinas police gang Officer Heath Johnson, who added that other gang shootings tend to be drive-bys. "This appeared to be a very elaborate plan, [which] makes it very different from the other gang investigations I've been involved in."
Johnson testified that he considered both Ruiz and Hernandez to be Norteño gang members. He said two of the teens shot in the car were identified as Sureño gang members, while the other two were considered associates. He added that he discovered that Hernandez belonged to the Latin Kings gang while he lived in Texas.
After the three-hour hearing, Monterey County Superior Court Judge Robert Moody ruled that there was enough evidence to hold the teens for trial. Both are each accused of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, use of a firearm, inflicting great bodily injury and committing a crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang.


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