*Marco Antonio Meza Charged With Gang Murder Of Luis Suarez

Published by on April 10, 2009

A 17-year-old boy was charged in Sonoma County Superior Court this afternoon with the alleged gang-related shooting murder of 18-year-old Luis Suarez in the South Park neighborhood on Monday night.  Deputy District Attorney Robert Waner said after the brief arraignment that Marco Antonio Meza is a Sureno gang member who killed a suspected Norteno gang member. Meza did not enter a plea and will appear in court April 17.  “The victim had some Norteno gang affiliations,” Waner said.  Santa Rosa police are investigating the possible gang connection to the shooting at Grand Avenue and Pressley Street but police stopped short of saying Meza and Suarez were gang members.  Waner said the South Park neighborhood is considered Norteno turf and that Meza drove or was driven there “looking for trouble.”   Suarez lived in the neighborhood where he was shot around 9:30 p.m. Police said the suspect’s red car had chrome rims and square tail lights.   Meza, a Kelseyville resident, and parolee Fernando Mendoza, 20, were arrested Wednesday afternoon after their vehicle was stopped at Santa Rosa Avenue and Court Street.   Mendoza was arrested for a parole violation. Waner said he has a weapons conviction. He has not been charged in connection with the murder but Waner said the case is still under investigation.   Meza is also charged with a separate count of being a criminal street gang member. Enhancements to the murder charge allege he intentionally discharged a firearm and committed the murder in furtherance of a street gang. Waner said Meza faces life in prison without parole if convicted. Meza’s attorney Jonathan Steele said he also heard allegations his client is a Sureno gang member. He said Meza’s family is moving from Lake County to Sonoma County.   Meza worked at farm jobs with his father and in a maintenance position at a Lake County casino, Steele said. He is being prosecuted as an adult but is being held in the Los Guilicos Juvenile Justice Center under no bail.

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