Fernando Sanchez and Jessica Gascon Allegedly Posted Facebook Threats, Conspired to Murder

As if Facebook isn't having enough problems this week, the social networking site is being dragged into a teen murder conspiracy case in Costa Mesa.

Fernando Sanchez, 17, of Santa Ana, is facing charges as an adult of posting criminal threats against a Costa Mesa 20-year-old on Facebook before conspiring with his 18-year-old girlfriend, Jessica Gascon, to murder the young man.

Gascon, also a Santa Ana resident, is accused of meeting the 20-year-old and his friends the evening of April 10, before leaving later that night to hook up with Sanchez and tell him the unidentified man made unwanted sexual advances toward her.

That night, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA), the couple conspired to murder the 20-year-old. Around midnight April 11--the same day threats to the victim are said to have been posted on Facebook--the couple drove to the man's residence in the 500 block of Wilson Street in Costa Mesa.

Gascon is accused of calling the man on her cell phone and asking for a meeting outside. Once he emerged, Sanchez allegedly confronted him with a gun. The man ran, and Sanchez is accused of firing at him as well as into a neighboring residence. No one was harmed.

The Costa Mesa Police Department investigated the shooting, and on May 1 Sanchez and Gascon were arrested at their respective homes.

According to the OCDA Sanchez is being charged as an adult with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, criminal threats, and shooting at an inhabited dwelling house with sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm and the personal use of a firearm. If convicted, he could get up to 55 years to life in state prison.

Gascon faces a felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and shooting at an inhabited dwelling house. She could get 25 years to life with a guilty verdict.

Both were scheduled to be arraigned today at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

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