A Santa Paula man convicted of first-degree murder for driving a getaway car should be granted a new trial because his brother, the convicted gunman, was found guilty only of second-degree murder, an attorney said Monday.
Deputy Public Defender Robert K. Willey said he would file a motion requesting that a judge set aside the conviction of Jesus Tellez, whose brother, Arturo Tellez, was convicted last week of second-degree murder in the same case.
A jury last week convicted Arturo Tellez, 27, who shot one cousin to death and severely injured another cousin in the crowded park two years ago, of second-degree murder.
In January, Jesus Tellez, 21, was convicted of first-degree murder for driving his brother to Teague Park in Santa Paula in June, 1991. Both brothers fled after the shooting. Jesus Tellez was arrested in Texas in 1992 and Arturo Tellez was arrested earlier this year.
"We'll just renew the motion to set aside the verdict and grant a new trial," Willey said Monday.
His client, Jesus Tellez, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison because he was equally guilty of murder under California law, a jury decided. But Arturo Tellez could get off with a lighter prison term when he is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 20, Willey said.