Third suspect in shooting faces murder charge
Strathmore resident Arnold Sanchez is being charged with murder in connection with the Feb. 3 shooting death of 19-year-old Salvador Garcia of Porterville.
The 19-year-old suspect also faces a special allegation that the crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang and that during the commission of the crime, a firearm was used also for the benefit of a gang, Mikki Verissimo with the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, said Wednesday.
Sanchez was arrested Friday night after turning himself in, joining two other suspects already in custody.
Federico “Freddy” Mejia, 29, and his girlfriend, 29-year-old Adriana Jaimez, both of Porterville, were arrested Feb. 5 and charged Feb. 8 in connection with the murder.
According to the Porterville Police Department, on the night of Feb. 3 Garcia was sitting in a parked car in front of a convenience store at 699 S. Plano St. when he was approached by Mejia and Sanchez.
Police said the pair assaulted Garcia prior to Mejia pulling out a handgun and shooting him in the chest. The two then fled in a car being driven by Jaimez, according to the PPD.
Garcia’s friends drove him to Sierra View District Hospital where he died from a single gunshot wound.
Sanchez was scheduled for arraignment Wednesday, when a date for an initial hearing would be set.
Mejia and Jaimez are due to appear in court on Friday, when a judge will determine if there is sufficient evidence to move forward with a criminal trial.
Contact Denise Madrid at 784-5000, ext. 1047. Follow her on Twitter @DeniseMadrid_.