A Fresno gang member was sentenced Wednesday in Fresno County Superior Court to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting two people outside a birthday party in southeast Fresno last year.
Conrad Daniel Serna, 27, was given a lenient sentence because he had a good case for self-defense since he was wounded in a shootout, said Fresno defense lawyer Ernest Scott Kinney, who represents Serna.
Police say Serna is a Bulldog gang member who was arrested 10 days after the May 23, 2015, shooting deaths of Rene Diaz, 27, and Ramon Delgado Jr., 28, in the 2400 block of South Ninth Street near Church Avenue.
According to police, Serna and another man were at a birthday party when they got into a dispute with several other people. Serna pulled out a gun and killed the victims. At least three other people were wounded, including Serna, who was hit by gunfire from someone who was with the two fatal victims, police said.
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Police recommended murder charges. But as part of a plea agreement, Serna in May this year pleaded no contest to two counts of voluntary manslaughter. In exchange for the plea, the prosecution agreed with a 10-year prison term.
In court Wednesday, Kinney said, “It’s unfortunate that two people had to die as the result of a minor skirmish that resulted in a shootout.”
According to Kinney, Serna and a friend were at a birthday party when a car spun its tires next door. Serna walked up to the occupants of the car and told them to knock it off since there were children at the party, Kinney said. The car left but returned later. One of the occupants then tried to shake Serna’s hand, but he refused, Kinney said. The occupants of the car, which included the victims, then went somewhere and returned with a pistol that had a scope, Kinney said.
“Gunfire breaks out and Serna had to defend himself,” Kinney said, noting that only Serna was charged with a crime.