Petaluma man sentenced to two years in Santa Rosa restaurant slaying

A 23-year-old Petaluma man who was an accessory to a December slaying outside a Santa Rosa restaurant was sentenced Monday to two years in Sonoma County jail.

Daniel Calderon-Escobido pleaded no contest to concealing a handgun that prosecutors maintain was used to kill Christopher Medina, also 23, of Santa Rosa, at El Puente Cantina on Dec. 3.

Witnesses said the shooting happened after a fistfight between Medina's cousin and the alleged gunman, 17-year-old Jose Campos-Mendoza, who is charged with murder.

About a dozen of the victim's family members filed into court Monday morning wearing T-shirts emblazoned with a picture of Medina, who went by the nickname "Beto."

None spoke before Judge Dana Simonds handed down the sentence, but Medina's mother said through prosecutor Craig Brooks that "God forgive the defendant."

"This is an extremely serious matter," Simonds told Calderon-Escobido, who was standing beside his lawyer in a blue jail uniform. "You were present at the scene when two people were shot and one of them was killed."

Simonds said Calderon-Escobido would "still be running today" if he hadn't been caught by bar security after being handed the gun.

Although he had been a Petaluma farm laborer for the past six years, Calderon-Escobido expressed a desire to return to Mexico and re-join the military. Simonds denied a request for probation and sentenced him to the middle term, which makes him eligible for release in about eight months, said his lawyer, Walter Rubenstein.

The accused shooter, Campos-Mendoza, and a third defendant, Alfonso Mendoza Ramirez, 18, also of Santa Rosa remain behind bars and are headed toward trial.

Campos-Mendoza, who was being housed at juvenile hall, has been charged as an adult. A hearing is March 1 for entry of plea and to set a trial date.

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