A Riverside gang member who fatally shot a rival out of loyalty to a friend, who is also accused in the killing, was sentenced Wednesday to 52 years to life in state prison.
A Riverside jury last week convicted 35-year-old Andrew Steve Molina of first-degree murder, with sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations, for the 2016 slaying of 28-year-old Anthony Daniel Razo outside his house in the La Sierra Hills area of Riverside.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Ronald Taylor imposed the sentence required by law.
Molina 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 encounter his girlfriend had with 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 Molina 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 try to scare him, Deputy District Attorney Chris Cook said.
He said Molina fired four rounds, while Gamboa allegedly emptied his handgun into Razo, who never fired a shot and died at the scene.
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. In addition to the Razo slaying, he is accused in a shooting that occurred 24 hours earlier at a gas station 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.
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