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Orange County Bar Association

Teenager Receives 50 years to Life for Gang Shootings

Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo

16-year-old Marco Antonio Perez was sentenced on October 23, 2009, to a minimum of 50 years in state prison for a 2006 shooting that left two rival gang members dead and a third in a coma.

A jury in adult court found Perez guilty of two felony counts of special-circumstances murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang, one felony count of attempted murder and one felony count of street terrorism.

Perez was prosecuted as an adult for the execution-style shooting that took place in Santa Ana when he was 14 years old. Victims were ages 14, 15, and 16. Two other members of his gang have already been sentenced to multiple life sentences and the other three are awaiting trial.

Juveniles, or minors under the age of 18, can be prosecuted for any of the same crimes for which adults can be prosecuted. So, a child who is 14 years old can be tried in adult court for some serious crimes such as murder and attempted murder, setting fire to a building with people in it, robbery with a weapon, rape, kidnapping or carjacking, crimes with guns, drug crimes, and escaping from a juvenile detention facility without a hearing before a juvenile judge. Prop 21, which was passed in 2000, allows prosecution to direct file without a juvenile court judge making the determination as to whether the minor should remain in juvenile court or be transferred to adult criminal court. Only an experienced criminal defense attorney can then examine the possibility of transferring the minor from adult criminal court back to juvenile court for sentencing under the Reverse Remand Law, Penal Code Sections 1170.17 and 1170.19. The Law Offices of William W. Bruzzo has represented many Defendants to include juveniles charged with gang offenses (Penal Code Section 186.22)

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