(Woodland, CA) – December 14, 2017 - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that on December 13, 2017, a Yolo County jury found 19 year old Alexis Velazquez and 23 year old Justin Gonzalez guilty of the murder of Ronald Antonio, 41, all of Woodland. Mr. Velazquez was convicted of first degree murder, along with enhancements for use of a deadly weapon, participation in a gang related crime, and special circumstances that the murder was carried out to advance the Varrio Bosque Norteño gang. Mr. Gonzalez was convicted of second degree murder along with gang enhancements. The court also found that Mr. Gonzalez had two prior strikes for gang related conduct.
On August 30, 2016, the defendants, both Woodland gang members, were patrolling the Casa Del Sol Mobile Home Park located at 709 East Street in Woodland, looking for rival gang members. Mr. Antonio had encountered a woman who had been cut in a previous altercation. After giving her the shirt off his back, Mr. Antonio was going back to his residence to get a new shirt when Mr. Velazquez mistook him for a rival gang member.
According to surveillance video and witnesses, Mr. Velazquez began chasing Mr. Antonio while carrying a large knife. Mr. Velazquez was closely followed by his fellow gang member, Mr. Gonzalez. After cornering Mr. Antonio less than 20 feet from his front door, Mr. Velazquez waited until Mr. Gonzalez restrained Mr. Antonio before delivering two fatal stab wounds to the left side of Mr. Antonio’s torso.
The two gang members then fled, leaving Mr. Antonio to crawl his neighbor’s residence in an attempt to get help. Meanwhile, the defendants changed clothes and pretended to be asleep in their trailer when police arrived a short time later. Inside the trailer, officers found gang paraphernalia along with the shorts Mr. Velazquez was wearing which had the victim’s blood on them.
The jury began its deliberation on the morning of December 8, 2017, and reached a verdict after about three and ½ days of deliberations.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Vroman, who prosecuted this case with District Attorney Jeff Reisig said, “This case is an absolute tragedy. A good Samaritan, who went out of his way to help a complete stranger was murdered on his door step and left to die by two violent gang members who wrongly believed he was a rival gang member.”
The Honorable Daniel Maguire, who presided over the trial, will sentence the defendants on January 26, 2018. Gonzalez is facing 55 years to life in prison, while Velazquez is facing life without the possibility of parole.