Trial ordered for two alleged gang members in 2007 murder - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Trial ordered for two alleged gang members in 2007 murder

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Two alleged gang members charged with murder in the Halloween 2007 retaliation killing of a Skyline resident will stand trial in March, a judge ruled Thursday.

Rafael Meraz, 19, and Michael Jay Aguon, 23, are accused in the death of 32-year-old Vidal Balderas Jr.

Meraz was a juvenile at the time of the murder but is being prosecuted as an adult.

Both defendants face 50 years to life behind bars if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Christopher Lawson.

The victim was shot six times as he returned to his Coolwater Drive home from taking his daughter trick-or-treating on Oct. 31, 2007.

A confidential informant testified during a preliminary hearing that Aguon bragged about the murder two days after Balderas was killed.

The woman testified that Aguon said that he and two "homeboys" went to the victim's home seeking revenge for an incident 10 days earlier in which Meraz was beat up and had a gun taken away by Balderas after the defendants shouted and flashed gang signs at the victim and his brother.

A status conference is set for Jan. 11 and trial for March 7.

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