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Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Manzano is a member of the Varrio Redlands street gang who hunted down Raymond Holguin Jr

08:16 |

Prosecutor Michael McDowell said Manzano is a member of the Varrio Redlands street gang who hunted down Raymond Holguin Jr., of Mentone, who had testified against him in a 2001 carjacking case, shot the man in the head seven times, wounded the man's 2-day-old son and shot and killed the man's stepfather. Then, after being shot accidentally during the rampage by a fellow gang member, McDowell said Manzano concocted a story about being shot in the back on the street.Deputy Public Defender Rasheed Alexander told the jury that Manzano is a family man who moved in with his mother after his release from prison, got a job and was breaking his ties with the gang. Alexander said the other gang member shot the victims on orders from another gangster and shot Manzano as vengeance for turning against the gang.Manzano faces a possible death sentence if he is convicted.Eric Estrada, a 29-year-old member of the gang who is on parole, is expected to be tried separately for the shootings. Another member of the gang, Armando Fonseca, 28, also has been charged with murder and attempted murder in the case.McDowell said witnesses saw two men, at least one of them wearing a mask, enter a Mentone house on the night of March 19, 2005 as Holguin slept on the sofa with his 2-day-old son on his chest. Holguin was shot seven times in the head, his son was wounded in the foot and his stepfather, Fernando Gurule, 45, also was shot and killed.McDowell, a supervising deputy district attorney, told the jury that Manzano fired a 9 mm pistol at the victims and that another gang member fired a 7.65 mm gun three times. Manzano backed into the line of fire and was struck by a bullet in the lower back, McDowell said.Police were later called to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where Manzano had sought treatment, telling doctors that he had been shot on a San Bernardino street by two unknown attackers.McDowell told jurors that Manzano was seeking revenge against Holguin, who had testified against Manzano in a trial stemming from a 2001 carjacking. Manzano had been released from prison three months before the 2005 attack.Alexander contended that Estrada was the killer and used two guns to shoot his victims.The defense lawyer said Estrada was acting at the behest of another gang member, Ruben "Bugsy" Lopez, who had participated in the 2001 carjacking.
Alexander said Lopez was on probation in February 2003 when he fired a gun in the street near a 14-year-old girl. Estrada was present at the time and the probation violation sent Lopez back to prison to serve a 19-year sentence.Alexander said Lopez blamed Estrada, in part, for Lopez having to go to prison. Lopez told Estrada "it was up to him" to exact revenge, Alexander said."What is this case about?" Alexander said to the jury. "It is about betrayal. Eric Estrada intentionally shot ... (Manzano) in the back because he betrayed the gang by not getting involved."
He said Manzano had a child, was living with his mother in Redlands at the time of the killings and was working at a Home Depot while severing ties with the gang.
Manzano's mother, Rosalinda Lopez-Manzano, testified Monday that her son was going to watch a boxing match on television the night of the murders. She got a call late that night that her son was in the hospital with a gunshot wound.

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