Shooting victim was no longer active in gang, expert testifies

by Nathan McIntire (Pasadena Star News)
October 29, 2009

pasadena

A shooting victim gunned down in 2007 was an “inactive” gang member who dropped out of a prominent local gang long before he was killed, a police gang specialist testified Thursday.

Sergio Mendez, 34, of Pasadena was an “inactive” member of the Villa Boys – arch rivals of the Southside Pasadena gang that defendants Miguel Sandoval and Jonathan Warren belong to, said Pasadena police Officer Andrea Perez.

“They were and they have always been mortal enemies,” she said during testimony in the double-murder trial for Warren and Sandoval.

Mendez and Joseph Vargas, 31, were shot to death July 27, 2007, following a confrontation at a Pasadena home in the 1500 block of Navarro Avenue with Sandoval and Warren.

Pasadena police homicide Detective William Broghamer testified Thursday that an argument erupted outside the home when Warren got mad at a fellow Pasadena Southside gang member for associating with Mendez.

But Mendez hadn’t been active in the Villa Boys for years, Perez said. He was considered an “OG,” or “original gangster,” because of his age and history with the gang.

“Active or inactive, Mr. Mendez was still an enemy,” Perez said.

Mendez arrived at the home after midnight with his father and two friends after the group had spent a few hours at a topless bar in Industry.

An argument erupted between Warren and Mendez’s friend before Sandoval allegedly ran out of the home on Navarro and started shooting.

On Tuesday, Mendez’s father testified he witnessed Sandoval shoot his son in the back, shoot Vargas, and then get in a vehicle driven by Warren and speed away.

Jesse N. Robles, Sandoval’s attorney, said in his opening argument that his client shot Mendez after he pulled out a knife.

A Pasadena police forensics specialist testified Thursday that a bloody knife was found near where the shooting occurred.

Testimony will continue Monday, when the prosecution is expected to rest its case.

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1 Comment for “Shooting victim was no longer active in gang, expert testifies”

  1. montana

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