Seventeen-year-old tried as adult for fatal shotgun blast in rivals' territory
Trial began last week for a 17-year-old boy accused of shooting another teenager in the belly with a shotgun.
Prosecutors claim that it was one year ago when Samuel went into rival gang territory with a group of homies after midnight on a Sunday morning. It was only ten days after Samuel’s sixteenth birthday, on March 11, 2012.
Samuel has repeatedly admitted that he is a member of the Varrio Posole Locos street gang, police claim. They say it is the oldest and largest Hispanic street gang in Oceanside.
The boy was part of a group of five or so gangsters who left their turf on the east side of the 5 freeway, and invaded the heart of Center Street Gang territory, which is just on the other side of the freeway. The invaders marked a wall on their rivals’ turf with graffiti: “POSOLE C K 187.” The spray-painted letters were four feet high and maybe fifteen feet long, according to police. Gang experts said the graffiti read: “Posole (gangsters are) Center (street gangster) Killers 187.” (California penal code for murder is 187).
While they were spraying the graffiti, a local teenager happened upon the gangsters, prosecutors claim. The group robbed the boy, demanding his necklace and Ipod. They allowed the frightened boy to leave, he survived to testify at a court hearing about a month later.
About 2 a.m. that night, neighbors said they heard gunshots. Police later found .38 caliber shell casings in the area, the 400 block of Grant Street. It is unclear if Posoles fired those shots, or if the local Center Street gang discovered the invaders and fired upon them. Prosecutors claim 16-year-old Samuel was running away when another teenager who was on his front porch saw Samuel and recognized him. That was when Samuel pointed the long gun he was carrying at the local boy and pulled the trigger, the prosecutor claims.
Antonio Carachuri Perez, 17, died of a single shotgun blast to his abdomen, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner.
Oceanside police picked up Samuel for questioning three days later, on March 14, 2012. He was on probation at the time, for a previous arrest for bringing a gun to school, sources say. Police recorded their interview with the teen. When they asked Samuel what his future ambitions were, he reportedly told them he wanted “to gang bang.” Police claim the boy placed himself at the shooting scene, he told them he was running down the street that night and heard gunshots and believed he was being shot at.
Samuel turned 17-years-old last month. He is now being tried as an adult, and pleads not guilty to robbery and murder and gang allegations.
Defense attorney Pamela Lacher vigorously denies that Samuel ever admitted being the shooter in the recorded “confession” with police. She further states that gang evidence is “irrelevant” and should be excluded from trial.
Jury trial began last week, before the Honorable Kimberlee Lagotta, and will resume Monday morning, April 22, 2013, in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.