During all those Southern California police car chases you constantly see broadcast live on Los Angeles TV stations, you've probably wondered how much prison time the suspect could get after his arrest.
In the case of Jesus Ignacio Espinoza Sanchez the term was five years following a wild 2010 Garden Grove chase that included reckless driving on the wrong side of Orange County roads.
On the ball cops had caught Sanchez, a member of the Evil Ways gang, and a fellow hoodlum spray painting graffiti in a rival gang's turf.
A desperate Sanchez fled because he wasn't legally able to possess the loaded handgun that was inside his vehicle.
Anyhow, a March 2011 jury convicted him of evading police,
possessing a concealed weapon in a vehicle, participation in a criminal
street gang and possession of a weapon by a felon.
Superior Court Judge Richard W. Stanford sentenced him to prison.
has earned at least five felony strikes–appealed, claiming that prosecutors
gave jurors insufficient evidence of his guilt.
Last week, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana considered his complaints and upheld all of the convictions but one. According to Justice Richard Aronson,
there had been no evidence introduced at trial about Sanchez concealing
the weapon in the getaway vehicle. Aronson called the government's
position–the one the jury adopted–“mere speculation . . . without
evidence.” The court reversed that conviction.
Upshot: Sanchez–now a resident of High Desert State Prison in Susanville–received about a four year reduction in his 13-year sentence.