Seven Years After Fatal Gang Shooting, Guilty Verdict Returned

The family of Wayne Minten, who was 18 when he was gunned down, celebrated the decision.

It was a bittersweet moment for the Watsonville mother. Moments before, Manuel Rosas, 25, was convicted of gunning down Duron's 18-year-old son in 2005.

Wayne Minten was riding his bike down Palm Avenue while a friend walked alongside him. An SUV drove past, then turned around. Someone in the car talked to Minten and shots were fired, according to a report about the trial in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

"It's a cold-blooded killing," said Assistant District Attorney Rob Wade, who prosecuted the case.

The investigation into the homicide languished for years. In 2009, a tip led police to Rosas, who was jailed in South Carolina. Thursday, a jury returned a guilty verdict for murder, gang and gun charges. Rosas a life prison sentence.

"They've waited seven years for this day," said Michelle Cardinale, victim advocate for the District Attorney's Office. "This is just a family you're seeing—relief.

"It's just justice, that's all," Cardinale continued. "Wayne got his justice today."

The trial began in late April. Minten's family said the verdict gives them an opportunity to move on and heal.

"It was a senseless act and it remains one," Watsonville police Sgt. Saul Gonzalez said. "It's a sad story and we're just happy to bring closure to the family."

Adrian June 22, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Another victory for our community, another cocharoche locked up for good.
David H. Perez June 22, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Amen to that, Adrian!


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