Man gets life in prison for 2007 murder of detective
Tulare County Superior Court Judge Darryl Ferguson sentenced Jorge Banda, 25 of Ivanhoe, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the December 2007 murder of Tulare County Sheriff’s Detective Kent Haws.
In addition, Judge Ferguson Monday added a mandatory additional term of 25 years to life for the use of a firearm in the commission of the crime.
The defendant raised a variety of mental claims including that he was incompetent, insane, and mentally retarded. The defendant pleaded not guilty to the murder of Det. Haws in December of 2007.
A jury found that he was in fact competent in 2008 and the case moved forward to trial where a second jury reached a verdict of guilty as to all charges and allegations on Aug. 28. Those charges included first degree murder of a peace officer in the performance of his duties, in addition to finding that the defendant committed the murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang while illegally being in the possession of a firearm due to a prior felony conviction for auto theft.
On Sept. 6, the same jury found the Banda was legally sane when he murdered the detective to avoid going to jail for possession of a firearm by a felon along with an illegal methamphetamine pipe on Dec. 17, 2007 in the Ivanhoe area of Tulare County.