Two charged in Santa Rosa restaurant slaying plead not guilty

Two Santa Rosa teenagers pleaded not guilty Thursday to murder charges in a December slaying outside a popular nightspot.

Jose Campos-Mendoza, who is 17 but is being charged as an adult, and Alfonso Ramirez-Mendoza, 18, are accused of shooting Cristopher Medina, 23, outside El Puente cantina.

Both denied the charges, which include two counts each of attempted murder for shooting at other people and a count each of assault with a firearm.

Campos-Mendoza, the alleged shooter, is also charged with personal use of a firearm to kill Medina.

A third defendant, Daniel Calderon-Escobido, 23, of Petaluma, pleaded no contest last month to being an accessory and was sentenced to two years in jail.

The Dec. 3 shooting happened after a night of heavy drinking and an argument over someone dancing with Calderon-Escobido's girlfriend, according to a probation report.

At about 1:45 a.m., Campos-Mendoza got into a fistfight at a patio bar with Medina's cousin, Julian Loeza, 21, of Santa Rosa.

After several people broke it up, Campos-Mendoza and Calderon-Escobido walked to the parking lot and returned with a gun, the report said.

When security guard Paul Harris tried to take the gun, Campos-Mendoza started shooting, firing a bullet between Harris's legs and another that missed his head.

He then allegedly turned the gun on Medina and Loeza, hitting Medina five times and Loeza twice, the report said.

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