Redding investigator testifies on claimed gang ties of defendant in Riverbank slaying

Rosalio Ahumada (The Modesto Bee) | September 12, 2013

Testimony in a trial Thursday focused on the claimed gang ties of one of three defendants accused of murder in the shooting of a man during a suspected carjacking outside a Riverbank convenience store.

A gang investigator testified that Daniel Pantoja was one of two people who attacked a rival gang member inside a Redding convenience store, two months before Chaz Bettencourt was shot to death Aug. 5, 2010, outside an am-pm minimarket in Riverbank.

Pantoja, Turlock Diaz and Jah-Kari Phyall are on trial in Stanislaus County, charged with murder and attempted carjacking in Bettencourt’s death in Riverbank.

The prosecution says the defendants committed the attempted carjacking that resulted in Bettencourt’s death to further promote the criminal activities of the Norteño street gang, whose membership is sprawled throughout Northern California.

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