Gomez attorney: no evidence

May 10, 2011 • Local News

Defense attorney Michael Gomez presented a motion to dismiss the charges against Jesus Carranza, 27. Carranza is the co-defendant, along with James Gomez, who was arrested for the stabbing death of 16-year -old Zachary Perez. He is charged with first-degree murder. Perez’s body was found by friends and family on a vacant lot near the intersection of East Fifth Street and Mulberry Avenue, around 2 a.m. on Feb. 13, 2010.

He had been stabbed 22 times.

“The argument is simply this: That the state has no evidence that would allow a rational and reasonable jury to convict my client beyond a reasonable [auth] doubt,” said Gomez. He said that the co-defendant confessed that he alone killed Perez and his (Michael Gomez’s) client was not involved.

Defense stated that the state’s case relied on guess and conjecture. Assistant District Attorney Debrah Hutchins disputed Gomez’s argument.

“The credibility of all the witnesses, including Gomez (the co-defendant) were in question,” she said. Carranza, Hutchins said, gave three different statements.

Other witnesses also provided three contradictory statements both to the police and in court. “Amanda Granados stated initially (to the police) that they were looking for Perez … Mr. (James) Gomez’s testimony was highly unbelievable,” Hutchins said.

He reminded the court that the initial motion-to dismiss hearing was held during the James Gomez trial and the state did not have the time to respond to the defense’s motion to dismiss, but she concluded, “There is enough to present to a jury.”

Judge Charles C. Currier stated that the defense had not presented enough to fulfill the requirements of a Foulenfont dismissal, which means the defense had not given sufficient argument to dismiss the complaint on the grounds the state had failed to establish probable cause. Currier set the date for the next pre-trial hearing for Aug. 1. He lowered Carranza’s bond from $500,000 to $50,000. Carranza protested, raising his voice, as defense attorney Michael Gomez attempted to calm his client.

“It’s all crap,” said Carranza, “How do you expect me to make bond?” Currier told Carranza, “You don’t have to stab or shoot somebody. You are known as an accessory… The case does not go away (because Gomez was acquitted). The charges against you are serious.” Carranza replied, “I don’t believe they have the right to take 15 months of my life.” When Currier held firm, Carranza swore as he remanded into custody.

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