A second San Joaquin County Superior Court jury trial found Sureno gang member Jose Antonio Vega, 31, of Manteca, guilty of first degree murder Tuesday in the shooting death of 19-year-old Derrick Gann in July of 2010.
The first trial held in August of last year ended in a hung jury. The recent trial began in mid-August with a guilty verdict coming after three weeks.
Gann was one of two young Manteca men who were gunned down shortly before 4 a.m. Tuesday, July 27, two years ago near the intersection of Yosemite and Powers avenues. Gann fell to the street in the middle of the roadway after he had been shot multiple times in the back. Jeffery Charles Atteberry, then 18, fled to the entrance of a nearby convenience store where he collapsed from gunshot wounds.
Semi-automatic hand gun shell casings were located by police at the entrance of another business on the north side of Yosemite Avenue indicating that was the position of the shooter when he fired his weapon.
Vega had been charged with eight felonies including three counts of street terrorism, premeditated attempted murder, premeditated murder, being a felon in possession of a firearm and the possession of a firearm by a gang member.
Atteberry, the second shooting victim, had been transported to San Joaquin County Hospital after being hit by gunfire as he was reportedly running from the gunman. He underwent several hours of surgery to repair his wounds, police said.
Manteca Police Detective Wayne Miller was the chief investigator in the case. He said Thursday morning that Vega’s sentencing is set for Oct. 29, at 10:30 a.m. in the Stockton Courthouse. He is currently being housed at the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.
Detective Miller said that following the shooting Vega hid in an apartment in the 100 block of North Sheridan Avenue – some 200 feet from the shooting scene – where he stayed for a couple of hours before leaving the area.
Police found a blue plaid shirt in the apartment that the suspect had been wearing at the time of the shooting. Miller said investigators found gun powder residue and Vega’s DNA in the fabric of the button down, short sleeved shirt. It was evidence that was used in the trial to convict the Manteca man.
Vega had emphatically denied the shooting, Miller said, until he was presented with the evidence and then said he had been trying to buy drugs that night. A shoe print matching Vega’s foot was found by officers between the buildings in the vicinity of the multiple shell casings, he added.
The defendant had past felony convictions. He admitted to officers that he was a Sureno gang member in Salinas, first joining the Los Posadas Trece group when he was 15 with his brothers. An older brother is reportedly in prison for having murdered his girlfriend. The Los Posadas Trece is also the name of a housing unit of apartments in Salinas.