A Riverside gang member who pumped multiple rounds from a shotgun into a rival out of loyalty to a friend, who is also accused in the killing, was convicted Thursday of first-degree murder.
A Riverside jury deliberated two days before finding Andrew Steve Molina, 35, guilty of the 2016 slaying of 28-year-old Anthony Daniel Razo outside his house in the La Sierra Hills area of Riverside.
Along with the murder count, Molina was convicted of sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations. Riverside County Superior Court Judge Ronald Taylor scheduled a sentencing hearing for March 27 at the Riverside Hall of Justice.
Molina, who is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in downtown Riverside, is expected to be sentenced to 50 years to life in state prison.
The ex-con went to Razo’s residence on Stover Avenue, near Gaylord Street, in the predawn hours of June 25, 2016, allegedly accompanied by his longtime friend, 32-year-old Jacob Gamboa.
Gamboa had become irate about an interaction between his girlfriend and Razo at a liquor store the prior afternoon, during which the victim half-jokingly suggested that the woman was in the wrong gang territory, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Gamboa allegedly went to the victim’s house and brandished a 9mm handgun, making threats in response to Razo’s behavior, which the victim shrugged off, leading Gamboa to leave and find Molina, according to the prosecution.
The pair returned to the Razo home hours later armed — Gamboa allegedly wielding the pistol, and Razo carrying a 12-gauge pump shotgun, according to trial testimony.
When the victim saw them in his driveway, he grabbed his own shotgun and confronted them outside, apparently believing that they only intended to scare him, Deputy District Attorney Chris Cook said.
He said that Molina fired four rounds, while Gamboa allegedly emptied his handgun into Razo.
The victim died at the scene, never firing a shot, according to investigators.
Riverside police detectives identified the defendants within a week. However, Molina fled to Mexico, where he was apprehended three months later and extradited back to the U.S.
Gamboa is expected to be tried this summer. Not only is he accused of the Razo slaying, but also a shooting that occurred 24 hours earlier near the Galleria at Tyler Mall in which three men were wounded, one fatally.
Gamboa’s cousin, 32-year-old Victor Gastelum, was convicted of the gas station attack in August 2017 and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: