The Orange County District Attorney's office objected today to a judge striking the “strikes” for a third-striker gang member who was on parole when he and two other men assaulted a fourth man
who told the trio to stop tagging a
wall in Santa Ana with graffiti last summer.
At least the judge was consistent: prosecutors also objected to the sentences the jurist handed the other defendants.
An OCDA statement on the case follows after the jump . . .
January 19, 2010
JUDGE STRIKES THE 'STRIKES' ON THIRD-STRIKER GANG MEMBER PAROLEE AND
CO-DEFENDANT BROTHER/GANG MEMBER WHO ASSAULTED MAN FOR TELLING THEM TO
STOP TAGGING A WALL WITH GRAFFITI
*Another co-defendant gang member given probation
SANTA ANA – A judge struck the 'strikes', over the objection of the
People, for a third-striker gang member on parole who assaulted a man
who told him and two gang associate co-defendants to stop tagging a
wall with graffiti. Nicholas Alex Duran, 35, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty
to the court on Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, to one felony count of
aggravated assault, one felony count of street terrorism, and a
sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. Nicholas
Duran was a third-striker with three prior strike convictions for a
1994 robbery, 1994 aggravated assault, 1999 criminal threats, and
sentencing enhancements for prior violent crime convictions and for not
remaining free for five years after serving a prison sentence. Today, a
judge sentenced Nicholas Duran to 13 years in state prison out of the
maximum sentence of 47 years to life in state prison. The People
objected to this sentence because this crime was a gang-motivated
unprovoked crime of violence and the defendant's prior history did not
merit a break.
Gang member co-defendants Alejandro Justin Duran, 34, and Manola
Mauricio, 17, both of Santa Ana, also pleaded guilty to the court on
Friday, Jan. 15, 2010, over the People's objection, to one felony count
of aggravated assault, one felony count of street terrorism, and a
sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. Alejandro
Duran, who is Nicholas Duran's brother, had one 1995 prior strike
conviction for first degree burglary and faced a sentencing enhancement
for a prior violent crime conviction, and for not remaining free for
five years after serving a prison sentence. Mauricio was direct-filed
as an adult. Today, the judge sentenced Alejandro Duran to seven years
in state prison out of the maximum sentence of 20 years in state
prison, and placed Mauricio on probation and gave him 206 days credit
for the time he has served awaiting trial out of the maximum sentence
of nine years in state prison. The People objected to Alejandro Duran
and Mauricio's sentence based on the nature of the current crime,
namely an unprovoked crime of violence, and Duran's prior history.
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on July 14, 2009, the 38-year-old victim was
walking home on the north side of McFadden Avenue near the intersection
of Orange Avenue in Santa Ana. Nicholas Duran, Alejandro Duran, and
Mauricio were tagging a wall with graffiti located on the north side of
the same intersection. The victim told the defendants to stop tagging
the wall. About five or six individuals, including the defendants,
chased the victim, stabbed him twice, and repeatedly punched and kicked
him. The defendants fled the scene. A witness called 9-1-1 and Santa
Ana Police Department (SAPD) officers responded to the scene. The
victim was transported to the hospital and treated for two stab wounds
to his abdomen and multiple contusions.
Further investigation by SAPD detectives led to the identification and arrests of the defendants in September 2009.
Deputy District Attorney Steven Schriver of TARGET prosecuted this case.