Two teens have pleaded not guilty in Marin County Superior Court to murdering an alleged rival gang member after a vehicle chase in San Rafael last month. Carlos Eduardo Gutierrez, 18, and 17-year-old Bryan Sandoval Rocha, both of San Rafael, are charged with the May 11 stabbing murder of 21-year-old Jeffrie Lee Olmstead, of Corte Madera.
Rocha, the alleged stabber, is being tried as an adult. Both teens are also charged with participation in a street gang and assault, Deputy District Attorney Yvette Martinez-Shaw said. Gutierrez also is charged with felony vandalism of a Ford Explorer, the car Olmstead got out of before he was fatally stabbed on Woods Street in San Rafael, and Rocha is charged with personal use of a weapon, Martinez-Shaw said. They pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday.
Their preliminary hearing date will be set July 8. Two juveniles, ages 16 and 17, who also were involved in the incident, are charged with participating in a street gang. All four suspects are documented gang members, San Rafael police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said. Police said the rival gang members armed with bats and sticks were seen running in the 600 block of B Street around 5 p.m. on May 11.
They left the area in a white Pontiac Grand Am and a red Ford Explorer and the Ford chased the Pontiac west on Ross Street until the Pontiac turned onto Woods Street, a dead end, Rohrbacher said. The occupants of the vehicles then began fighting in the street, Rohrbacher said. Three occupants in the Ford, including Olmstead, were stabbed, Rohrbacher said. Olmstead told his friends to leave him and he went to a nearby house for help, Rohrbacher said.
The residents called 911 and gave Olmstead first aid but he collapsed in the front yard as the combatants left in their vehicles, Rohrbacher said. Olmstead was taken to Marin General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Two occupants of the Ford who suffered minor injuries were dropped off in the emergency room of the hospital. They were treated and released, Rohrbacher said.
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