Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Case # 12HF1198
May 25, 2012
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
TEENAGE COUPLE TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR CONSPIRING TO MURDER FRIEND AND POSTING THREATS ON VICTIM’S FACEBOOK
NEWPORT BEACH – A teenage couple will be arraigned today for conspiring to murder the friend of the 18-year-old female defendant and posting threats on his Facebook page. Fernando Sanchez, 17, Santa Ana, is charged as an adult with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, criminal threats, and shooting at an inhabited dwelling house with sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm and the personal use of a firearm. Co-defendant Jessica Gascon, 18, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and shooting at an inhabited dwelling house.
If convicted on all counts, Sanchez and Gascon face a maximum sentence of 55 years to life and 25 years to life in state prison, respectively. The defendants are being held on $1 million bail and are scheduled to be arraigned this morning, May 25, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. in Department H-2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
On the evening of April 10, 2012, Gascon is accused of meeting 20-year-old John Doe and his friends and then leaving at approximately 10:00 p.m.
Late on the night of April 10, 2012, Gascon is accused of telling her boyfriend Sanchez that John Doe made unwanted sexual advances toward her and the defendants are accused of conspiring to drive to John Doe’s home to murder him.
At approximately 12:00 a.m., on April 11, 2012, Sanchez and Gascon are accused of driving to John Doe’s home. Gascon is accused of calling the victim from her cell phone and asking John Doe to meet her outside. Once the victim exited his residence, Sanchez is accused of approaching him and confronting John Doe. Sanchez is accused of brandishing a gun and as the victim fled, he is accused of shooting at John Doe. Sanchez is accused of shooting into a neighboring residence in the 500 block of Wilson Street in Costa Mesa as he shot at the victim. John Doe was unharmed.
After receiving calls of shots fired, the Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) arrived at the scene to investigate.
On April 11, 2012, Sanchez is accused of posting criminal threats against John Doe on Facebook.
On May 1, 2012, CMPD officers arrested both defendants at their respective homes.
Deputy District Attorney Cliff Page of the TARGET Unit is prosecuting this case.