General Crime

* Alejandro Mendoza, 27, Charged with Murdering Willow Market Owner 47-Year-Old Vahid Hosseini

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The man arrested in connection with the murder of a San Jose store owner last year has been arraigned in Santa Clara County Superior Court on charges of murder and second-degree robbery, a district attorney’s spokeswoman said. San Jose police arrested Alejandro Mendoza, 27, on April 26, after asking the public for help in solving the case. He was arraigned Wednesday and will return to court to enter a plea May 21, district attorney spokeswoman Amy Cornell said.The crimes occurred May 23, 2008 as 47-year-old Vahid Hosseini, owner of the Willow Market, was leaving a Bank of the West branch at 1010 First St. in San Jose.Three suspects pulled up in a stolen sport utility vehicle, police said. One shot Hosseini in the head before the suspects took a large sum of cash meant for his business and fled in the SUV, a silver 2001 Honda CR-V.Hosseini died 10 days later. He and his wife had owned the Willow Market for more than 25 years. Police have declined to say whether they believe Mendoza was the gunman. The other two other suspects are still at large. Investigators have worked closely with Hosseini’s family to distribute fliers, sketches and other information in the hope that a member of the public will help identify the remaining suspects.Several organizations, including Bank of the West and the Carole Sund/Carrington Memorial Reward Foundation, have offered a total reward of $40,000 for information on this case. The governor’s office in April announced an additional $50,000 reward.

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