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Two gang members were sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for the murder of a 16-year-old boy in Salinas more than two years ago, according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office. Ricardo Martinez, 21, and Santiago Ortiz, 22, both Salinas residents, were accused of killing 16-year-old Frank Sanchez Jr. on July 28, 2010. In October, following a three-week jury trial, they were convicted of murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
Prosecutors said that on the evening of the murder, Martinez drove Ortiz and two other accomplices to the intersection of Capitol and West Market streets in Salinas. Ortiz, armed with a loaded handgun, exited the vehicle and approached a parked car where Frank Sanchez Jr. was seated, according to the district attorney’s office. Prosecutors said Ortiz fired into the car and struck Sanchez Jr. in the head, killing him instantly.
Ortiz and Martinez were arrested for the murder in September 2010. Prosecutors contend the killing was gang-related and retaliatory. Both suspects must serve a minimum of 50 years in prison before being considered for parole, according to the district attorney’s office.
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