Three of the suspects accused of killing Christopher Leon could be charged as adults

Friday, September 29, 2017
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Four suspects sat side-by-side inside Fresno County Juvenile Court.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Four suspects sat side-by-side inside Fresno County Juvenile Court. Cameras are not allowed inside because of their ages- but three of them could potentially be charged as adults.

Defense Attorney Gerald Schwab said his client was at the jewelry store to replace a broken earring. He is hoping his client's reaction to the crime that was caught on camera is a game changer. Right now prosecutors are zeroing in on each person's role in the homicide.

"My client is 16 years old, he has a very limited history and he was the most surprised person in the room that any of this happened. This is not a planned event and you can tell that very very clearly by the video," said Defense Attorney Gerald Schwab.

Deputy District Attorney Douglas Treisman told the judge he is still reviewing the case and at this point, the degree of responsibility has not been determined.

In early August, Christopher Leon was working in his family's stereo and jewelry store when he ran after a group who police say posed as customers but were actually thieves.

Robert Lamanuzzi is representing 17-year-old Angelo Sanchez. He was arrested several weeks ago after detectives say he was hiding out in a Northwest Fresno apartment with the alleged shooter.

"I'm hopeful that once the discovery is reviewed that it will result in him either being kept as a juvenile or it's possible he'll be released from the case, I'm not sure," said Lamanuzzi.

Fresno Police have identified the gunman is 18-year-old Angel Morelos. Cameras show the victim wrestling with Morelos when police say the teen retrieved a firearm and fired at Leon--killing him.

Attorneys representing the young alleged accomplices say there is no solid evidence showing the crime was premeditated.

"It does not appear from the video that any of this was planned. In other words, for them to hold the other people liable it has to be a planned event and the other people have to be acting as lookouts or otherwise be involved in the shooting."

"There's not going to be any winners in a case like this, unfortunately. Everybody on both sides wished it never happened."