Porterville couple charged in shooting death of 19-year-old
The Tulare County District Attorney has filed charges against a Porterville man accused of fatally shooting a 19-year-old outside of a local convenience store.
Federico “Freddie” Mejia, 29, faces one count of murder for the Feb. 3 slaying of Porterville resident Salvador Garcia Resendiz in the parking lot of a Spirit gas station at 699 S. Plano St. Mejia’s girlfriend, 29-year-old Adriana Jaimez of Porterville, is being charged with being an accessory after the fact with the special circumstance that it was for the benefit of a street gang.
Mejia’s charge also comes with a street-gang enhancement and with a special allegation that he intentionally discharged a firearm.
According to police, Garcia was fatally shot as he sat in a car in front of the convenience store at about 11:50 p.m. on Feb. 3.
The Porterville Police Department said the teen was waiting for a friend who was inside the store when he was approached by two males, one of whom pulled out a handgun and shot him in the chest.
Police believe Mejia and the third suspect approached the 19-year-old and assaulted him prior to Mejia shooting him. Jaimez was also at the scene and drove Mejia and the third suspect away after the shooting, the PPD reported.
Janet Wise, supervising attorney with the DA’s office, said Friday that Mejia is looking at life without the possibility of parole and said that with the gang and gun enhancements, the case is “death eligible.”
Jaimez faces a maximum sentence of 7 years in state prison, Wise said.
The couple is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing conference on Feb. 20 and again on Feb. 22 for a preliminary hearing when a judge will determine if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a criminal trial.
On Friday, the third suspect was still at-large.
“We have some very good leads and the investigation is absolutely still moving forward,” said Dominic Barteau, public information officer with the police department.
A visitation and rosary for Resendiz will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at a private residence.
His internment will be in Mexico.
Contact Denise Madrid at 784-5000, Ext. 1047. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseMadrid_.