Two men will likely spend the rest of their lives in prison for shooting two dairy workers at a barn near Chowchilla. Jurors found both defendants guilty of murder and attempted murder.
Cameras were not allowed in the Madera County courtroom Tuesday, but video from a previous hearing shows the defendants, Jesus Flores and Jose Ventura. Authorities say they shot two workers during a robbery at a dairy barn near Chowchilla.
One of the victims survived, but Alberto Ivan Torres, 18, was killed, just 20 minutes into his first day on the job. Tears filled his mother's eyes after jurors found both men guilty of attempted and first degree murder.
Surveillance video captured the execution style shooting in January of 2008. The Madera County Sheriff's Department released the images two days later, and someone recognized the sweatshirt one of the gunmen was wearing. That led to the arrests of both suspects, who turned on each other during the investigation. They had separate juries as a result.
Eric Green said, "I feel sorry for my client because he was 23 at the time, has no record, and was extremely naive about the law."
Green says Ventura didn't know Flores was going to shoot the victims. In fact, the survivor was Ventura's own cousin.
"The whole family is very emotionally distraught over it," said Green,
Torres' family has also been devastated. The teen's father died about two years ago, with his son's murder weighing heavy on his heart. And his mother still struggles to cope with her sorrow.
The victim's cousin, Jeanette Torres said, "We're supposed to die before our children, so i think for her it's really hard, and it's still going to be hard for the rest of her life."
Now Flores and Ventura may spend the rest of their lives in prison without the possibility of parole. Their sentencing is scheduled for June.
Madera County District Attorney Michael Keitz said, "It not only allows us to bring closure to the families, justice for them, and justice for the people of this community."