Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Trial ordered for six in Carachure murder case


Five people charged with murder in connection to the stabbing death of a 16-year-old Santa Barbara boy will stand trial, a Superior Court judge ruled yesterday during the defendants’ preliminary hearing.
Judge Clifford Anderson handed down the ruling after hearing testimony from several witnesses during the 10-day hearing.

All of those who took the stand were witnesses for the prosecution, which is being headed up by Deputy District Attorney Hans Almgren.
A sixth person, who has been charged with accessory to murder after the fact, was also ordered to stand trial.
The six co-defendants also face gang enhancements, which could greatly increase any possible sentence.
Four of the defendants are juveniles and are being tried as adults. They include Ruben Nicholas Mize and Steven Medinilla, both 16, as well as a 17-year-old duo of Raul Diaz and Ricardo Manuel Nava Jr.
The lone adult charged with murder is 19-year-old Emilio Mora, who along with the four juveniles faces two counts of attempted murder for allegedly stabbing two other people during the July 16, 2007 attack.
The charges stem from the killing of Lorenzo Valentin Carachure, 16, who was assaulted near his home on San Pascual Street.
An arraignment is set for the defendants on Sept. 19 and pre-trial motions could be heard shortly thereafter.
Midway through the preliminary hearing, 19-year-old Carlos Diaz, who was initially charged with murder, pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after the fact and a gang enhancement.
Almgren said he doesn’t expect any of the current defendants to enter into plea agreements with the District Attorney’s Office, though it could happen.
When asked if he planned to offer similar deals to the remaining defendants, Almgren said he doubted it.
“It’s hard to know,” he said. “I’d say probably not.”
However, Almgren did say if new information comes to light, he would be willing to reexamine the case.

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