Thursday, December 5, 2013

Esequiel Cisneros sentenced to 112 years to life in state prison


On May 29, 2012, Gregorio Gonzalez Jr. and two of his friends, Gerald Jimenez and Eric Olguin, went to a makeshift memorial on Lenore street in San Bernardino for Michael Espino who was murdered two weeks earlier. Michael had been murdered by a West Side Verdugo gang member in the Verdugo Flats territory. While the three men were paying their respects to Michael Espino, the defendant, Esequiel Cisneros, arrived with an unknown female.

According to Deputy District Attorney Denise Yoakum, who prosecuted the case, Cisneros—who is a documented Verdugo Flats gang member—asked Gonzalez and his friends if they were from the West Side or Southside? The men responded that they were not gang members and told the defendant they were not from "any side."

Cisneros then pulled out a gun and shot at the three of them. Gregorio died at the scene, Gerald was transported to the hospital and survived, and Eric was grazed in the leg with a bullet.

After a heated trial that included witnesses intimidation and intense cross examination of the defendant who testified he was actually pretending to be a West Side Verdugo gang member to gather intelligence on the murder of Espino, Cisneros was sentenced to 112 years to life in state prison.

"If you commit murder in the County of San Bernardino we are going to prosecute you," Deputy DA Denise Yoakum said. "We prepare for witness intimidation and we overcome it. We are not going to let gangs run our streets. Today, the defendant earned every day of his sentence. I hope this give's Gregorio's family some sense of closure and justice."

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