3 arrested after string of crimes ends with murder of Merced 50-year-old

MERCED, Calif. (KFSN) -- UPDATE - The Three Merced suspects accused of murder faced a judge on Friday afternoon.

Louie Gonzales, Felipe Heredia, and Christopher Olvera appeared in court and in person.

A judge decided to continue the case for further investigation and to determine if there's any conflict of interest.

They are expected back in court next week on April 11 at 8.30 a.m.

The original story follows


Three suspects - Louie Gonzales, Felipe Heredia, and Christopher Olvera - are behind bars in connection with a murder investigation in Merced.

Police say the suspects are gang members, and facing charges for the killing of 50-year-old Jeff Bergeron.

Merced Police say the suspects were allegedly on a crime spree that started downtown, eventually leading up to the victim's home.

At this point, investigators say it seems like Bergeron wasn't a target, but rather a random victim.

The arrests come a little more than two months after Bergeron was found dead in his home along Bixby Way in late January.

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Investigators say it seems like Jeff Bergeron wasn’t a target, but rather a random victim.

Sgt. Ray Alvarez describes their crime spree: "They were involved with two armed robberies that occurred in the area of Main and V, assault with a deadly weapon in downtown Merced, and a robbery where a bike was taken near the college. In the majority of those cases, we don't have any victims."

Alvarez says they then made their way to north Merced, but at this point, he says there's no reason Bergeron was targeted.

"It's just a random event, there's nothing that would've drawn them to that house."

Jeff's wife, Tammy Bergeron plans to be at the court dates and wants some answers.

"Why was he targeted? Why him? He wasn't affiliated with gang members. He was a family man," she says.

She does say while it won't bring Bergeron back, she's hoping the arrests will help their family get closure.

"I'm happy they're not on the street and can't hurt anyone else. And I hope they spend the rest of their life behind bars and they have what's coming for them."

Alvarez says evidence in Bergeron's stolen truck, along with technology, helped in tracking down the suspects.

Police now ask anyone involved in the suspect's string of crimes to come forward and help them with the ongoing investigation.

Police say two of the suspects were already in custody for unrelated crimes.

They're working with the DA to file charges and have them in court on Friday.

Anyone with information or a victim involved in the string of crimes is asked to call the police.
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