SALINAS, Calif. - Two convicted criminals were sentenced to two life sentences for the murder of a 16-year-old in 2010. The Monterey County District Attorney's Office handed those sentences to 21-year-old Ricardo Martinez and 22-year-old Santiago Ortiz, both of Salinas.
Both Martinez and Ortiz were convicted on October 31, 2012, of murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle for the benefit of a criminal street gang after a three-week jury trial.
On the evening of July 28, 2010, Martinez and Ortiz along with two accomplices drove to the intersection of Capitol and West Market Streets in Salinas to commit a gang retaliatory shooting. Santiago Ortiz, armed with a loaded handgun, exited his vehicle and sneaked up to a parked car where Frank Sanchez, Jr. was seated. Ortiz then shot into the car and struck Sanchez in the head, killing him instantly.
Ortiz returned to the vehicle driven by Ricardo Martinez and they fled the scene. Although nobody was apprehended immediately after the shooting, an investigation by detectives from the Salinas Police Department led to the arrest of Martinez and Ortiz the following September.
At the sentencing, the victim's family members personally expressed their appreciation for the work of Joel Anaya, Chris Fairbanks, and Brian Johnson of the Salinas Police Department and Peter Austen, Valarie Duran and Susana Reyes of the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.
Martinez and Ortiz must each serve a minimum of 50 years in prison before being considered for parole.