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West Ventura County Focus

VENTURA : Prosecution Rests in Boy's Shootout Trial

August 27, 1993|JEFF McDONALD

The Juvenile Court trial of a 16-year-old Santa Paula boy accused of taking part in a shootout between rival gangs at a crowded Ventura beach will continue today after the prosecution rested its case late Thursday.

The boy, an alleged gang member involved in the Aug. 5 gunfight that caused hundreds of sunbathers to flee in panic, originally was charged with aiding and abetting assault with a firearm and aiding and abetting the reckless discharge of a firearm, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Kim G. Gibbons.

But the district attorney's office dropped those charges Thursday in favor of lesser felony allegations: aiding and abetting firing at a vehicle and aiding and abetting accessory after the fact, Gibbons said.

Defense attorney Eloy Molina declined to discuss the case during breaks Thursday in the closed hearing.

Gibbons said that after studying the facts surrounding the Aug. 5 shootout, he determined that the 16-year-old never fired the weapon, but had attempted to hide it from investigators.

The boy also faces a charge of vandalism in an unrelated graffiti case, Gibbons said.

Ventura police arrested four Santa Paula residents, including the 16-year-old and a 17-year-old boy, after a gunfight erupted between rival gang members three weeks ago at a beach near the south jetty of Ventura Harbor.

No one was injured in the exchange of gunfire.

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