Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Gang member sentenced to prison for assault

LAKEPORT – A man convicted of taking part in a gang-related assault last summer has been sentenced to four years in prison.

On Friday Judge Richard Martin sentenced Octavio Juan Sanchez, 21, of Ukiah to prison for the July 4, 2007, gang assault on a 14-year-old boy in Lakeport, Chief Deputy District Attorney Richard Hinchcliff reported.

On Jan. 11 Sanchez pleaded guilty to charges including felony assault likely to produce great bodily injury, participation in a criminal street gang and promoting criminal conduct by criminal gang members, Hinchcliff reported. Other charges and special allegations were dismissed.

Sanchez's plea to the gang participation charge will constitute a “strike” if Sanchez is convicted of a felony in the future, Hinchcliff added.

Sanchez's attorney, J. David Markham, did not return a call seeking comment on Friday.

According to the investigation into the July 2007, which was led by Lakeport Police Department, Sanchez was a documented member of the Aztec Tribal Chollos, a known Mendocino and Sonoma County gang affiliated with the Nortenos, Hinchcliff reported. Sanchez also had a previous gang-related conviction for assault in Mendocino County.

The July 4, 2007, assault took place when Sanchez and other gang members – who were in a residence near the Safeway shopping center on 11th Street in Lakeport – saw the 14-year-old victim and three others leaving Perko's restaurant, wearing blue clothing commonly worn by Sureno gang members, according to Hinchcliff.

A witness in the residence reported that Sanchez and his fellow Nortenos began talking about the “Scraps” – a derogatory term used by Norteno gang members to describe Sureno gang members – coming out of Perkos, Hinchcliff explained.

The attack resulted because the Norteno gang members believed the victim and his friends were Surenos. The victim's brother, who was with him during the attack, admitted to belonging to the Angelino Heights gang, which Hinchcliff said is a Sureno gang in Lake County.

Sanchez's group confronted the victim and his companions and a fight resulted, during which the boy was struck in the head with a rock, Hinchcliff explained. The teen was taken to Sutter Lakeside Hospital, treated and released.

In an even more tragic twist to the story, two days after the gang assault the 14-year-old was involved in a vehicle collision near Kelseyville and suffered internal injuries. He died on July 8, 2007 as a result of those injuries, as Lake County News reported last summer.

Hinchcliff said at Friday's sentencing Sanchez asked the court not to sentence him to anything greater than the midterm, claiming that he was not really participating in gang activity. In return, Hinchcliff argued that defendant should be sentenced to the upper term because of his prior record and the seriousness of the crimes.

Citing Sanchez’s lengthy criminal record of theft, drug- and gang-related crimes, Judge Martin sentenced Sanchez to the upper term of four years in prison.

Hinchcliff said another participant in the assault, a juvenile,was prosecuted previously in the juvenile court.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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