Hearing for teenager in deadly gang shooting of Escondido woman  - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Hearing for teenager in deadly gang shooting of Escondido woman

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ESCONDIDO (CBS 8/CNS) - A 16-year-old boy accused of being an accomplice in a gang shooting in Escondido that killed a female motorist driving home from church pleaded not guilty in Juvenile Court Monday, March 20 to murder and other charges. 
 
A decision on whether the teenager – identified only as Jose - will be tried in adult court will be made at a later date, said Deputy District Attorney Laurie Hauf. A status conference was set for April 4. 

A juvenile judge called Jose a danger to himself and the community. 

Meanwhile, the man accused in the shooting pleaded not guilty Friday, March 17 to charges of murder, attempted murder of rival gang members and shooting at an occupied vehicle in connection with the incident that claimed the life of 55-year-old Catherine Kennedy. Dionicio Crespin Torrez Jr. 24, also faces gang special circumstances that could lead to the death penalty or life in prison without parole. 

Police said Torrez was shooting at two rival gang members who were spraying graffiti in the neighborhood. Kennedy was struck by a stray bullet while driving through the alleged gang confrontation in Escondido on March 7 shortly after 9:00 p.m. 

The victim was found alongside eastbound Grand Avenue near Midway Drive, suffering a gunshot wound to her head after her silver Toyota Camry crashed into a parked vehicle. 

Investigators believe Kennedy was struck by a stray bullet fired by one of at least two gang members shooting at each other. 

Kennedy was taken to Palomar Medical Center after the shooting, but later died from her injuries. 

Since her death, the Escondido community has been in mourning, describing the married mother as an active woman dedicated to her family, faith, co-workers and friends.   

Torrez, being held without bail, will be back in court March 28 for a readiness conference. 

A preliminary hearing is set for April 3. 

The Escondido Police Department is still investigating this crime. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call detectives at 760-839-4926 or 760-839-4422. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling 760-743-8477.

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