Two suspects in the shooting deaths of two men at a Santa Monica clothing store in October 1998 have been charged with murder, Santa Monica police said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney filed charges Friday, April 14th, against David Robles, 29, of Lennox, and Jessie Garcia, 29, of Los Angeles.
Robles and Garcia, who are cousins, are charged with two counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances, two counts of attempted murder, four counts of personal use of a firearm, four counts of participating in a street gang and committing the crime in furtherance of the gang, police said.
Police allege that Robles and Garcia fatally shot Anthony Juarez, 19, and Michael Juarez, 27, at the Westside Clothing store in the 2200 block of Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica on October 27th, 1998.
Two other victims were severely injured in the “shooting spree,” police said.
Evidence recovered at the crime scene was processed with current DNA technology. The DNA evidence was sent to the California Department of Justice, Bureau of Forensics Services DNA Laboratory and entered into its databank of known offenders.
The samples submitted were matched with Robles and Garcia, two convicted felons currently serving prison sentences in the California penitentiary system, according to Santa Monica police.
Santa Monica police detectives presented their investigation to the county District Attorney’s Office Friday, April 14th, for review.
Upon completion of the review of this case, it was decided that charges would be filed on both suspects, police said.
Because both suspects are in custody on unrelated charges, the district attorney must seek the issuance of no-bail arrest warrants for both suspects.
“We have fulfilled our promise to the parents and family of Anthony and Michael Juarez to be relentless in bringing the [alleged] murderers of these innocent young men to justice,” Santa Monica Police Chief James Butts said.
“It is our hope that the solution of this crime brings some measure of peace to the family.”
Robles, who is currently serving an eight-year sentence in state prison, was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in February 2001. His criminal past includes attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and weapons violations, police allege.
Garcia, who is also currently in state prison, was convicted of carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon with a firearm, causing great bodily injury in May 1999.
The two suspects have both admitted to and are documented as participating in a Los Angeles-based criminal street gang, police allege.