Known Gang Members Murdered an Innocent Man Who was Helping a Stranger
(Woodland, CA) - February 9, 2018 - Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that on February 9, 2018, Judge Daniel Maguire sentenced Justin Gonzalez, age 23, to 90 years to life in prison for the murder of Ronald Antonio. Less than two weeks earlier, Judge Maguire had sentenced Alexis Velazquez, age 19, to life without the possibility of parole for his role in the same murder.
Evidence presented at trial established that on August 30, 2016, the defendants, both validated gang members, were roaming the Casa Del Sol mobile home park located at 709 East Street in Woodland and accosting individuals they perceived to be rival gang members. At approximately the same time, the victim was walking out of the mobile home park with a friend, when they encountered a woman who was bleeding from a fresh cut on her arm. The victim removed his shirt and gave it to the injured woman, who was a complete stranger to him, for her to stop the bleeding. Moments later, the defendants rounded a nearby corner, armed with knives, and started chasing the victim, apparently believing he was a rival gang member. The defendants pursued the victim to the front of his own home, where they proceeded to attack him. The victim was beaten and stabbed to death.
On December 13, 2017, a Yolo County jury convicted Alexis Velazquez of first degree murder with gang enhancements. The same jury convicted Justin Gonzalez of second degree murder with gang enhancements. Gonzalez was also found to have two prior strike offenses for gang related conduct, including a 2013 incident involving the shooting of a victim in Woodland and a separate gang related felonious attack of two people outside a 7-11 in Woodland, also in 2013.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Vroman stated: “An innocent man who literally took the shirt off his own back to help a complete stranger was chased down and viciously murdered by two violent gang members who were roaming the streets. It is both terrifying and tragic that this senseless crime occurred in our community and forever altered the lives of so many. While the convictions and sentences in this case will never bring true solace to the victim’s family, justice has been served.”