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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA / A news summary

15-Year-Old Charged as Adult in Shooting of Teenager

November 23, 2000

OXNARD — Four days after he allegedly walked up to an Oxnard teenager and shot him in the face, a 15-year-old suspected gang member was charged as an adult with attempted murder and mayhem.

Diego Morales could face life in prison if convicted of the Saturday shooting, the latest in a string of shootings in Oxnard that have surprised police and caused concern about the city's cresting wave of gang violence.

During a brief hearing Wednesday, Judge Glen Reiser postponed Morales' arraignment until Dec. 6 and set his bail at $800,000. Although Morales has been charged as an adult in the shooting, Reiser agreed to keep the teenager in juvenile hall until his arraignment.

Prosecutors used the state's 1996 Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act to tack a special allegation to the charges. They said Morales shot the victim while he was a member of a gang.

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