Congratulations are in order for Family Violence Unit lead Deputy District Attorney Melissa Monrreal of our Central Division in People v. Juan Carlos Lomeli, Jose Luis Lopez and Jorge Cinco (FSB1203785).
|Defendant Juan Lomeli|
On August 23, 2012, Victim Elias Esparza was working at a tire shop. Victim Roberto Betancourt came into the tire shop for service. Victim Betancourt was followed to the location by three defendants; Juan Lomeli, Jose Lopez and Jorge Cinco. Upon their arrival to the tire shop, Defendants Lopez and Cinco got out of the vehicle and entered the tire shop wearing ski masks and carrying semi-automatic handguns. Defendant Lomeli waited in the vehicle a block away. Defendants Lopez and Cinco ran to where Victims Esparza and Betancourt were located and fired their weapons. Both victims were pronounced dead at the scene. There were 18 casings located. After the shooting, Defendants Lopez and Cinco ran up the street to where Defendant Lomeli was waiting. All three defendants headed to Defendant Lomeli's sister's residence.
|Defendant Jose Luis Lopez|
Several witnesses saw the shooting and the shooting itself was caught on video. One witness followed the vehicle after the shooting and called 911. During the emotional 911 call, the witness provided a play by play of where the vehicle was driving. The defendants were unaware they were being followed. That same witness watched as Defendant Lomeli exited the vehicle and entered his sister's residence with a duffle bag. It was later determined the duffle bag contained guns and dark clothing consistent with the clothing worn by the shooters.
Law enforcement arrived on scene and the witness was able to identify Defendant Lomeli as the driver. The witness also relayed information that the two shooters jumped into the rear of the vehicle and he never saw them exit.
|Defendant Jorge Cinco|
After over 30 witnesses testified as well as emotional testimony from the witness who had followed the defendants, the jury returned a swift verdict of guilty as to all counts and allegations. After the verdict, the jury referred to the witness as a hero. The jury also complimented Melissa for putting on a very detailed and organized trial.
Melissa would like to thank Victim Advocate Esmeralda Isordia for all of her help with the victims' family members during the trail. Melissa would also like to thank the Bureau of Investigation as well as her colleagues in the Family Violence Unit.
The defendants are facing 100 years to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Let's all give a round of applause to DDA Melissa Monnreal!