Man sentenced in 2010 Planada gang shooting

Watch the video for extended coverage from Action News reporter Sara Sandrik.
MERCED COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Ezequiel Castillo was sentenced for the shooting of two innocent Planada teenagers after hearing a message from one of the families.

The bullets that pierced a home in Planada forever changed the lives of two teenage victims. Justin Gonzales was struck in the back and Monica Garcia was shot in the head.

A victim's advocate read a letter from Monica's mother during the sentencing for Ezequiel Castillo. Her daughter was the senior class president at Le Grand High School and a standout athlete when the shooting left her partially paralyzed for months.

Detectives say the couple was targeted because Justin was wearing a blue sweatshirt. Castillo admitted to being the driver and pleaded guilty to felony assault and gang enhancement charges. He also testified against Johnny Munoz, who was eventually found not guilty. The prosecutor told jurors Castillo was beaten up in jail and had his nose broken for agreeing to take the stand.

On Wednesday, the judge sentenced Castillo to 11 years behind bars. Two of the other suspects have also been sentenced to prison time.

Castillo was given credit for twice the amount of time he has served so far, which adds up to nearly nine years. So he may only spend about two years in prison. He also has another hearing scheduled to figure out how much restitution he'll be ordered to pay the victims.

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