General Crime

* Redwood City Trial Set For February For Francisco Javier Mendoza And Margarita Bustos Ortega For The Murder Of Valentino Gallegos

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A February trial date was set in San Mateo County Superior Court this morning for a man and his girlfriend charged in connection with the fatal shooting of 37-year-old Valentino Gallegos on Christmas Day 2007. Francisco Javier Mendoza, 24, who is being held without bail, is charged with one count of murder with the use of a gun and one count of attempted premeditated murder with the use of a gun.Margarita Bustos Ortega, also 24, who is in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail, is charged with one felony count of being an accessory to murder for allegedly witnessing the shootings and later lying to police about Mendoza’s involvement, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.Judge Susan Etezadi this morning set a trial date of Feb. 22, 2010, for Mendoza and Ortega, Wagstaffe said.Mendoza is believed to have gotten into a fight at the Pal Market at 2384 Cooley Ave. in East Palo Alto on Dec. 25 and then left, returned with a handgun and shot two men, Wagstaffe said. Gallegos was killed in the shooting and Gerardo Hernandez, then 20, was seriously injured, East Palo Alto police Detective Jeff Liu said.
On Sept. 15, 2008, police identified Mendoza, a Redwood City resident, as the alleged shooter and arrested him the next day at the
intersection of University and Woodland avenues in East Palo Alto, Liu said.

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