High-profile murder, kidnapping cases slated in court
Two teens accused of murder in a reported gang-related shooting, and a Colusa man accused of kidnapping and torturing a Yuba City woman over a 10-day period are scheduled to appear in Colusa County Superior Court next week.
Pedro Hernandez Herrera, 18, and Armando Gutierrez Leon, 16, both of Colusa, are scheduled to appear Thursday before Judge Jeffrey Thompson for their preliminary hearings.
Herrera and Leon are charged with murder in the shooting death of 14-year-old Miguel Muniz on Aug. 23.
They are also facing three counts each of attempted murder and street gang allegations — charges that were added later by the District Attorney's Office.
Herrera and Leon have pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The prosecution asserts that Muniz, of Colusa, and three of his friends were walking near Third and Sioc streets around 10 p.m. when at least one shot was fired from a small-caliber weapon in their direction.
Muniz was hit in the chest and was declared dead at Colusa Regional Medical Center that night.
Police said Muniz had recently become involved with the Norteño street gang. Herrera and Leon are believed to be members of the rival Sureños.
Members of the two gangs had an altercation earlier that night, police said.
Defense attorneys objected to the additional charges being added to the case on Jan. 16, but did not ask for the preliminary hearings to be postponed.
Jesse Santana of Yuba City represents Leon. Christopher Carlos of Marysville represents Herrera.
Also in court next week will be Jermaine L. Roberts, 35, who faces a host of felony charges including two counts of kidnapping, as well as charges of torture, assault with a deadly weapon, forced oral copulation, false imprisonment by force and carjacking.
He is scheduled to enter a plea during a Wednesday arraignment, court documents state.
Roberts reportedly forced the 33-year-old woman to drive back to his Oak Street home after he found her sitting in a car on the 500 block of Clay Street at about 11 p.m. on New Year's Eve, the police reported.
The woman's 3-year-old son was sleeping in the back seat.
Roberts reportedly beat the woman severely before she and the child escaped on Jan. 10, and were taken to the Colusa County Sheriff's Office by a passing motorist.
Brandon Williams of Marysville represent Roberts.
Roberts and the woman were involved in a relationship in the past.