An 18-year-old man has been found guilty for his role in a gang-related murder and will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday.
On Friday, a jury found Tony Ponce of Cutler guilty of first-degree murder with the special circumstance that the murder was committed by an active gang member to benefit a street gang.
The victim, Carlos Sanchez Haro, 29, of Hanford, was shot to death on June 12, 2015. The shooting took place at a gas station in Sultana in northern Tulare County and was caught on surveillance tape.
Three juveniles – Ponce, his brother Abraham and Augustin Isarraras, both 14 at the time – got into a confrontation with the victim, a member of a rival gang, authorities said.
At Ponce’s direction, Isarraras opened fire on Haro at point-blank range with a semi-automatic handgun, the district attorney’s office said.
The shooter pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and will get 40 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 7. The younger Ponce pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and will get 11 years in prison when he is sentenced Oct. 6.
The older Ponce is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 28.