Accused Edison High shooters headed for trial, possible life sentences

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Four alleged gang members are headed to trial and could face life sentences for an attack on the Edison High School campus. (KFSN)

Four alleged gang members are headed to trial and could face life sentences for an attack on the Edison High School campus.

The violence started with a blue Fresno State sweatshirt. A 62-year-old woman told Fresno police she was attacked by four teenagers because of what she was wearing. Police arrested four suspects -- Jaime Gonzalez, Jose Zinzun, Gilberto Ramos and Nicholas Padilla. And they started talking about the second act of violence.

"Jaime Gonzalez wanted to commit an offense on a teacher and my client said 'Nah why should we do that? Not a teacher,'" said Ramos' defense attorney Annette Smurr.

We're not allowed to show the four defendants in court. They're all young men now, but in December 2013, they were teenagers, and prosecutors say they left the first attack, and walked onto the Edison High School campus looking for more trouble.

"Is this an ocean's 11 type of caper? Clearly it's not," said prosecutor Galen Rutiag. "But from the statements and the totality of the circumstances it's a crime of opportunity. They see an open door and they go in."

Inside the open classroom door, they found teacher and trainer Steven Guerrero. Police say both Ramos and Gonzalez had guns-- Gonzalez fired his. As he hit the teacher in the stomach and leg, everybody ran away.

Defense attorneys for the other three say they never intended to commit a crime. They challenged an expert who said all four were in a gang, and claimed the kids were only on campus because it was a shortcut to another friend's house.

The judge didn't buy it.

"It's far more logical inference that they're walking through the campus looking for something," said Judge Kent Hamlin. "(They were) looking for somebody dressed in the wrong colors to beat up. (They were) looking for a door that's open that they can go in and take something."

Judge Hamlin decided there is enough evidence for all four to stand trial.

Life sentences are at stake because they're alleged gang members and one of them used a gun.
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