Two gang members given long sentences for roles in fatal Oceanside teen stabbing
VISTA (CNS) – Two gang members were given long prison sentences Tuesday for their roles in the 2013 stabbing death of a 16-year-old boy near Oceanside High School in a dispute about graffiti and vandalism.
Juan Zarita, 19, was sentenced to 22 years behind bars in the death of Javier Luna.
Francisco Barajas, 22, was given a 21-year prison term. Both pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
Omar Alejandro Garcia, Jose Luis Zamora and Roberto Medina, all 19, also pleaded guilty to the same charge and are scheduled to be sentenced July 23.
On Jan. 29, 2013, about 1:45 p.m., officers responding to an assault found Luna in the courtyard of an apartment complex on South Weitzel Street, suffering from chest wounds.
Luna, who lived nearby, was declared dead shortly afterward.
Oceanside police Capt. Ray Bechler said a dispute between rival gangs over graffiti and vandalism prompted the fatal assault.
Investigators believe the defendants sought retaliation for graffiti and vandalism that occurred in their Eastlake neighborhood, not far from Crown Heights, where Luna lived.
Bechler said that Luna was affiliated with the gang in his neighborhood, though Luna’s family denied that.