Fresno Mother's Day murder followed a fight over a woman

Corin Hoggard Image
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
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Gunfire pierced the walls of the home near Chestnut & Belmont and Maria Mariscal's husband took a bullet to the back.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno murder may have started as a battle over a woman.

The joy of a Mother's Day 2018 visit to see a son didn't last long for Maria Mariscal.

Gunfire pierced the walls of the home near Chestnut & Belmont and her husband took a bullet to the back.

"It was chaos at the scene," said Fresno police Lt. Gerardo Chamalbide. "People screaming, yelling, and a lot of neighbors had come out."

One of her sons told police he'd seen a familiar car outside the home, and someone said the people inside it had guns.

So he took some children, ran into a back room, and hid in a closet with them.

He heard several gunshots coming from outside a little while later.

"He came out and his father was in the living room and saw that he'd been shot," said Fresno police officer Antonio Nieto.

Luis Mariscal died ten days later.

Almost five months after that, Fresno police arrested three brothers -- Everardo, Eduardo, and Jose Valenton.

Mariscal's other sons had a fight with the Valentons earlier the morning of their father's death.

Everardo Valenton was living with a woman who had dated one of the Mariscal sons for seven years.

She watched the fight and said Everardo was angry and pacing afterwards.

He took her car and left with a brother and she didn't hear from him for a while until she got a phone call.

"He was kind of like panicked," said Andrea Garcia. "He said 'They shot. They shot. I just went to go fight. They shot.'"

The girlfriend's car was the one Mariscal's family noticed outside their home before the shooting.

Witnesses say the gunfire came from the Valentons.

Prosecutors charged all three brothers with murder.

A judge is expected to decide this week whether there's enough evidence to put them on trial.

Maria Mariscal says her husband was a religious man who graduated from Bible College the year before he died at the age of 46.

She says the pain of losing him is almost unbearable, but she'll pray for his killers.