The arraignment of eight alleged gang members was postponed Monday for a second time to give their defense attorneys time to challenge the process used to indict them on murder charges.
The defendants — plus the suspected shooter, who is not in custody — are charged in connection with the shooting death of a 20-year-old man in north Modesto.
The attack on Erick Gomez occurred Feb. 14 on Vera Cruz Drive, near Coffee Road and Floyd Avenue in Modesto. Court documents indicate that the killing was motivated by ongoing violence between Sureño and Norteño street gangs.
Monday morning, Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Thomas Zeff granted defense requests for a demurrer hearing, which was scheduled for June 26. At the hearing, the defense attorneys are expected to question the legitimacy of the criminal grand jury used to indict the defendants.
The arraignment — when the defendants enter a plea — could be held that day, prosecutor Thomas Brennan said.
Those indicted are: Nancy Rodriguez, Jeanette Robles, Elida Carranza, Jenna Cheyenne Sebourn, Dalia Mendoza, Lisandro Mendoza, Jesse James Sebourn, Michael Terrill Sebourn and Giovani Barocio. All are being held on $2 million bail.
They also were charged with criminal conspiracy with enhancements saying they committed the murder for the benefit of the Sureño street gang and used a firearm, which could lengthen their sentences if convicted.
Barocio, the suspected gunman, still is at large.