Modesto botched robbery case ends with gunman’s conviction for deadly shooting

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A 23-year-old Hayward man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for a deadly shooting during a botched robbery in west Modesto, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.

Jacob David Silva on April 2 pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter in the death of 29-year-old Joseph Carl Levi Wyse, the District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday on its Facebook page.

The felony voluntary manslaughter charge includes an enhancement for using a gun in the crime. His no contest plea allows Silva to avoid a trial, which was scheduled to begin Monday.

Silva initially was charged murder and attempted robbery, but both of those charges were dropped. Stanislaus Superior Court Judge Thomas Zeff formally sentenced Silva on Tuesday.

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Jacob David Silva Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office

The defendant on Friday remained in custody at the Stanislaus County Jail as he awaits a transfer to a prison. Silva has been held at the jail since Nov. 15, 2014, 11 days after the failed robbery.

Authorities have said the shooting was reported shortly before 1 a.m. Nov. 4., 2014. Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputies were called to a home in the 600 block of Marshall Avenue, where they found Wyse dead.

The unincorporated neighborhood is south of Maze Boulevard, roughly halfway between Modesto High and Mark Twain Junior High schools.

Silva and three other people were later arrested for suspected involvement in the botched robbery. A few days after the shooting, detectives arrested Anthony Centeno on suspicion of murder.

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Anthony Centeno Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department

Centeno, 44, of Modesto, in February 2015 committed suicide. Sheriff’s officials said Centeno hung himself inside his single-inmate cell with a rope made with materials from inside his cell.

Alexander Silbeira Mendoza also was arrested on suspicion of murder in Wyse’s death weeks after the shooting. He was 17 years old at the time of the shooting, but he was prosecuted as an adult.

In May 2017, Mendoza pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison, according to court records. The murder and robbery charges against Mendoza were dropped.

Maira Isabel Vasquez. also of Hayward, was charged with being an accessory in connection with Wyse’s death. A prosecutor in November 2014 argued that Vasquez was in a car and knew the shooting would occur. He also said she lied to investigators about Silva’s whereabouts.

On March 8, the District Attorney’s Office dropped the accessory charge against Vasquez in the “interest of justice,” according to court records.

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Rosalio Ahumada writes news stories about criminal court cases in Stanislaus County for The Modesto Bee, issues related to immigration and immigrant communities and breaking news related to crime and public safety. From time to time, he covers the Modesto City Council meetings. He has worked as a news reporter in the Northern San Joaquin Valley since 2004.