General Crime

* Javier Ceja Of Sonoma Gets Only 3 Years Probation For Accessory To Gang Related Murder Of Luis Miranda

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An accessory to a gang-related murder near Sonoma in 2007 was sentenced to three years’ probation this afternoon in Sonoma County Superior Court.Judge Rene Chouteau said Javier Ceja’s cooperation with police and prosecutors and the lack of a prior serious record warranted the probationary term.Ceja, 21, testified against co-defendant Juan Carlos Perez, 26, who was convicted of gang-related second-degree murder in June. Perez is scheduled to be sentenced Monday.A third defendant, Juan Manuel Calderon, 19, has not yet been tried for the murder of 17-year-old Luis Roberto Miranda, who was shot in the face at Maxwell Park in El Verano near Sonoma on Oct. 22, 2007.Ceja faces deportation within two days by the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Deputy District Attorney Robert Waner said this afternoon. However, Waner said he hopes a motion he will file in court next week will delay Ceja’s deportation so Ceja can be questioned by Calderon’s attorney George Boisseau about the murder. Calderon’s trial date will be set Thursday.All three defendants are alleged gang members.The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department said the three defendants drove by Miranda and his friends in a gray sedan inside the park around 6 p.m. on Oct. 22, 2007. The defendants made hostile gestures and exchanged words with the group, the sheriff’s department said. About a half-hour later, someone emerged from a wooded area and fired a shotgun toward Miranda and his friends, the sheriff’s department said. Miranda was hit in the face and head and died at the scene. Authorities believe Calderon fired the gun.Ceja’s attorney Rebecca Linkous said her client was never suspected of being the shooter. He was charged with being an accessory after the fact because Calderon tried to call Perez after the shooting and then called Ceja, she said.Ceja was sitting in the back seat of a vehicle when the shooting occurred, Linkous said.Waner said Ceja faced a seven-year term and he did not oppose the three-year probation.”He testified truthfully and his participation assured justice was done,” Waner said.

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