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Trial ordered for 2 men charged in fatal shooting outside Santa Rosa cantina

Witness testimony and surveillance camera video provide sufficient evidence to warrant a trial for two Santa Rosa teenagers accused of killing a man and wounding another in a drunken brawl outside a popular watering hole, a judge ruled Friday.

Jose Campos-Mendoza and Alfonso Ramirez-Mendoza, both 18, can be tried for the Dec. 3 murder of Cristopher "Beto" Medina, 23, Judge Kenneth Gnoss ruled at the end of a more than a week-long preliminary hearing.

Gnoss said it was clear from multiple witness statements and video recordings outside El Puente Cantina that Ramirez-Mendoza handed Campos-Mendoza a gun before Campos-Mendoza raised his arm and fired at Medina and his friend, Julian Loeza, 21.

A video played in court appeared to show Ramirez-Mendoza lifting his shirt and passing something to Campos-Mendoza, who is seen shooting at Medina until he falls to the ground, the judge said.

He then turns the gun on Loeza, hitting him in the arm and hip.

Gnoss rejected defense arguments that the video was unclear or that the shooter was acting in self-defense or in a sudden quarrel.

"The court's not going to go along with that at this point," Gnoss said after hearing from both sides.

Now, the defendants face trial on counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder that could lead to life prison sentences. Although Campos-Mendoza was 17 at the time of the shooting, Gnoss found he could be tried as an adult.

They will return Sept. 4 for the possible setting of a trial date.

The victim's family declined to comment on the ruling outside court.


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