Two men charged with murder in connection with a slaying and an assault during an argument at a cantina in Santa Rosa pleaded guilty in Sonoma County Superior Court today to voluntary manslaughter charges. Jose Campos-Mendoza, 18, pleaded guilty to the voluntary manslaughter of Christopher Medina, 23, of Santa Rosa, and assault with a semi-automatic firearm on Paul Harris, a security guard who was nearly struck by the gunfire, and Julian Loeza Jr., 21, of Santa Rosa, at the El Puente Cantina on Dec. 3, 2011, Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said. Alfonso Ramirez-Mendoza, 19, of Santa Rosa, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter of Medina and to assaulting Harris and Loeza with force likely to produce great bodily injury. Campos-Mendoza, the gunman, will be sentenced July 23 to 21 years and 4 months in prison and Ramirez-Mendoza, who aided and abetted Campos-Mendoza, will be sentenced to 12 years in prison, Ravitch said.
A third defendant, Daniel Calderon-Escobido, 23, of Petaluma, who pleaded no contest in December 2011 to being an accessory to the shooting, was sentenced in February 2012 to two years in Sonoma County Jail. Calderon-Escobido ran from the scene with a gun after the shooting, but did not fire any shots. He faced three years in prison. The shooting happened around 2 a.m. in the restaurant parking lot at 1709 Santa Rosa Ave. Medina was pronounced dead at a hospital and Loeza was admitted for surgery. Campos-Mendoza was 17 years old at the time but was prosecuted as an adult.
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