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West Ventura County Focus

VENTURA : Teen-Ager Indicted in Beach Shootout

September 04, 1993|BARBARA MURPHY

A Santa Paula teen-ager was indicted Friday on charges he initiated a gang shootout at a crowded Ventura beach last month, but the Ventura County grand jury refused to indict a second man on a charge of participating in the incident.

Although the grand jury rejected the criminal case against Ramiro E. Montano after hearing the testimony of 14 witnesses, it used the same evidence to indict Alejandro Garcia, 19, of Santa Paula on a variety of felony and misdemeanor charges.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Kim G. Gibbons said evidence at the hearing showed that Garcia started the shooting after he spotted Montano at the beach.

Montano, 20, is the second defendant to have charges against him dismissed in the Aug. 5 incident that sent hundreds of beach-goers scrambling for safety during the exchange of gunfire near Ventura Harbor's south jetty.

A 16-year-old suspect won dismissal earlier this week in Juvenile Court of charges of aiding and abetting a shooting.

Montano had been charged with grossly negligent shooting. Prosecutors chose to let the grand jury decide whether the evidence was sufficient to support the charge, rather than submit the issue to a judge.

Gibbons would not comment on why the grand jury refused to indict Montano, but he indicated that there was conflicting testimony as to who fired back at Garcia.

There was some evidence at the hearing that a 17-year-old who has been charged in connection with the incident may have been one of the shooters, Gibbons said. That suspect is scheduled for a hearing Tuesday to decide whether he should be tried as an adult.

Garcia is scheduled for arraignment Tuesday before Superior Court Judge James M. McNally. Garcia remains in custody at the Ventura County Jail with bail set at $100,000.

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