A Monterey County jury found a suspected gang member guilty of two counts of attempted murder on Monday for a 2009 drive-by shooting in Castroville, according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s office. No one was injured in the shooting, which happened the afternoon of June 15, 2009, near Wood and Castro streets. Prosecutors said the defendant, Alex Alejo, 22, climbed partially out the passenger side of a truck driven by Pierre Santana and fired four shots at two people in another car.
The car and a nearby home were struck by the gunfire but no one was hurt. The victims recognized the truck and knew that the driver was Santana, prosecutors said. Santana was arrested and pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting, but did not testify in Alejo’s trial. In addition to attempted murder, Alejo was convicted of two counts of assault with a semiautomatic firearm, one count each of shooting at an occupied car and shooting at an inhabited dwelling, and being an active participant in a criminal street gang.
Prosecutors said both Santana and Alejo have tattoos identifying them as members of the North Side Castroville gang. Alejo’s trial began Sept. 19, and the jury returned the verdicts on Monday after deliberating for several hours, according to the district attorney’s office. Alejo faces a maximum term of life in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 2.
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