2 Men Face Capital Murder Charges in Deadly Montebello Drive-by Shooting
Two alleged gang members are facing felony charges making them eligible for the death penalty in connection with the death of a man found shot in an alley in Montebello over the weekend, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Bernardo Martinez, 21, and 27-year-old Nicholas Rodriguez are accused of shooting at a group of people from their moving vehicle in the 600 block of North Garfield Avenue before dawn on Saturday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
After responding to reports of gunfire around 1:40 a.m., police found Rudy Elguezabal in an alley with multiple gunshot wounds, officials said. He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.
Two other people were at the scene with Elguezabal but had not been struck by gunfire, according to the DA’s office. Both they and Elguezabal were able to describe the vehicle involved to investigators.
Shortly after, Monterey Park police spotted a car matching the description, and a brief chase ensued after the vehicle refused to pull over. Authorities said its two occupants eventually fled on foot; video from the scene appears to show their white sedan crashed into a curb.
Eventually, both men were taken into custody. Police said they also recovered a weapon.
On Tuesday, both were charged with one count of murder, with the special circumstance allegation that the crime was committed during a drive-by shooting with the intent to kill — which is the count that makes them eligible for capital punishment.
Rodriguez and Martinez also face two counts of premeditated attempted murder and one count of shooting from a motor vehicle. Rodriguez is facing an additional charge of fleeing a pursuing peace officer’s vehicle while driving recklessly, the DA’s office said.
Prosecutors have also filed gun and gang allegations against both men.
If convicted as charged, the defendants could face the death penalty or life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
Martinez was being held on $2 million bail, while Rodriguez was being held without bond, inmate records show.