California Supreme Court overturns murder conviction
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court has overturned a murder conviction stemming from a 2004 gang-related shooting in Modesto that left one person dead.
A unanimous court ruled on Thursday that testimony by alleged accomplices of Edgar Octavio Barajas that the then 16-year-old was involved in the slaying was not corroborated by other evidence.
The justices said Barajas could not be retried and ordered a lower court to acquit him of murder and other charges.
Authorities say the drive-by shooting was sparked by the rivalry between Norteno and Sureno gang members, but the teenage girl who died, Ernestina Tizoc, had no gang ties. A second man, Jesus Manuel Rodriguez, was also convicted of murder in the slaying.