A 26-year-old Fresno gang member was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing an innocent family man in order to promote a criminal street gang.
David Quevedo, who claims allegiance to the Bond Street Bulldogs and has the letter B tattooed on his right cheek, said nothing when Judge Arlan Harrell announced the punishment in Fresno County Superior Court.
Earlier, Quevedo had told a probation officer he felt sorry for the family of the murdered victim, Omar Silva Sr.
But Silva’s two sons, Omar Silva Jr. and Jesus Gonzalez, who attended the hearing, said Quevedo’s apology was insincere.
“I hope he rots in prison,” Gonzalez said.
In May, a jury found Quevedo guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Silva, 36, who was unarmed when he gunned down at the front door of his home in front of his 13-year-old daughter on Feb. 3, 2013.
FourThe number of times Omar Silva Sr. was shot.
The shooting attracted instant notoriety when authorities said Quevedo, a San Francisco 49ers fan, went on a rampage after his team lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl. It gained more notoriety during the trial, when Quevedo’s lawyer claimed Silva could have lived, but his Jehovah’s Witness religious beliefs stopped him from getting a blood transfusion.
Omar Silva died during surgery after he refused a blood transfusion, defense attorney Antonio Alvarez told the jury.
Jehovah’s Witnesses believe it is against God’s will to have a blood transfusion.
In the trial, both sides agreed that Quevedo shot Silva, the father of four children.
Prosecutor Gabriel Brickey, however, told the jury that pathologist Dr. Michael Chambliss’ expert opinion was that even if Silva had received the transfusion, he would have died anyway because one bullet hit his inferior vena cava, a major vein. In asking for a first-degree murder conviction, Brickey said Silva was an innocent victim of gang violence and that Quevedo deliberately shot Silva after getting into a fight with Silva’s brother. After the shooting, Silva’s daughter picked Quevedo out of a police photo lineup, Brickey said.
In defending Quevedo, Alvarez said his medical expert, Dr. David Posey, believed Silva had a 90% chance of survival if he had had the blood transfusion. But Alvarez’s argument fizzled when Posey said on cross examination that a substantial factor in Silva’s death was the gunshot wounds.
There are about 20,000 gang members in Fresno. They account for about 75% of the shootings in Fresno. Police Chief Jerry Dyer
Court records say Quevedo has been to prison before — in 2007 for felony battery of a custodial officer and in 2011 for taking someone’s property. He was on supervised release when he was arrested after the Silva shooting.
Outside court Wednesday, Silva’s two sons talked about how stupid it was for Quevedo to get upset when the 49ers lost in the Super Bowl.
With the 49ers losing, Quevedo began to cause trouble at the game party near Silva’s home and was kicked out, police said. While on the street, he ran into Arnold Silva outside his brother’s home on East Hedges Avenue, south of Fresno City College. Quevedo confronted Arnold Silva and asked him what gang he claimed. When Arnold Silva replied he was from Fresno, a fight broke out. The two men fought until Omar Silva broke up the altercation, police said.
Before leaving, Quevedo, who was wearing a red 49ers jersey, shouted “Bond Street” and said, “I’ll be back.”
During the trial, Brickey told the jury that a neighbor’s video surveillance camera captured the deadly encounter when Quevedo returned to Omar Silva’s home.
About 9:30 p.m., Omar Silva was with his wife and children when Quevedo knocked on the front door and asked to see Arnold Silva. Silva’s daughter answered the door and said her uncle was not home. Omar Silva, who had just gotten out of the shower, then approached the front door, wearing only a towel around his waist. Quevedo fired eight rounds toward Silva, Brickey said. Three shots hit Silva in the chest and one hit him in the back, the prosecutor said.
A body camera worn by an officer who responded to the shooting captured Silva’s words before he was rushed to the hospital.
“Jehovah, Jehovah, I’m dying. I’m dying,” Omar Silva said.
Silva died during surgery.
Quevedo was arrested later that week by officers from the police department’s Street Violence Bureau.
Quevedo didn’t testify in his trial. Alvarez, however, argued that someone else killed Silva because the neighbor’s video captured Quevedo and an unknown person going to the front door of the victim’s home. There also was another person in the getaway car, Alvarez said.
Before leaving the courtroom Wednesday, Quevedo told his family: “I love you guys.” He plans to appeal his conviction.
Wednesday, Brickey praised the Fresno Police Department for investing in the body camera that taped Silva’s dying declaration in which he told police that a Bond Street Bulldog had shot him.
Omar Silva Jr., 19, and Jesus Gonzalez, 21, fondly recalled their father as a hard-working iron worker who kept the family together and loved to play chess. “It’s been hard on all of us,” said Silva, who wore a T-shirt that had photos of him and his father. “I’m going to miss him a lot.”
A somber Gonzalez said, “I’m glad for the way it has turned out, but there is nothing to be happy about.”