Hearing resumes in June gang stabbing
November 20, 2009
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – A preliminary hearing for three men accused of involvement in the June stabbing a 15-year-old boy resumed briefly on Friday, but won’t conclude until at least the next scheduled court date in the case, on Jan. 28.
The El Dorado County District Attorney has charged Jorge Casillas, Carlos Trejo, Erick Hernandez of attempted murder, residential burglary and assault with a deadly weapon with a gang enhancement for their alleged connection to the stabbing. All three are in custody at the Eldorado County Jail in South Lake Tahoe.
During the June 17 incident, at least 10 members of the “Cyclones” gang allegedly wore hood sweatshirts and bandanas over their faces, drove to a party on Palmira Avenue, stabbed the 15 year old with alleged ties to a rival gang and fled.
The stabbing sent the teen to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno in critical condition. He has since recovered.
A preliminary hearing is a procedure to determine whether there is enough evidence to continue holding someone suspected of a crime.
Attorneys in the case initially hoped to wrap up the hearing at the end of October, but were unable to finish witness testimony as scheduled.
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The hearing has vied for court room space with the Ulysses Roberson murder trail.
Each of the three men face “significant” time in state prison if convicted, said prosecutor Lisa Serafini. Only a judge can determine the exact sentence the men face, Serafini added.
In October, Ignacio Novoa Gomez became the seventh defendant in the case to reach an agreement with prosecutors to testify.
Those who reach agreements will receive a strike on their record, but will not receive state prison time if they testify truthfully, Serafini said.
Possible county jail sentences for those who reach agreements with prosecutors will be decided by a judge and will be based on probation reports, degree of involvement in the incident and the degree of honesty they exhibit throughout the case, Serafini said.
Sentencing for defendants who have reached agreements with prosecutors is scheduled for Jan. 29.