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A Santa Rosa man was found guilty of first-degree murder in a Sonoma County court Tuesday for a gang-related shooting in 2009, according to the district attorney’s office. Fernando Mendoza, 23, was convicted in the shooting of 18-year-old Luis Suarez on April 6, 2009. Suarez was walking near Grand Avenue and Pressley Street in Santa Rosa when Mendoza drove up, got out of his vehicle and shot Suarez multiple times, the district attorney’s office said.
Prosecutors said Mendoza was a member of the Angelino Heights Sureno gang and that Suarez was associated with the Norteno gang. Mendoza was also convicted for being an active gang participant and several sentencing enhancements, including gun use. Mendoza faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole plus 26 years to life, the district attorney’s office said. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 23, 2012.
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