Wake County grand jury indicts two teens in double murder case
Posted August 21, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — A Wake County grand jury on Tuesday indicted two teenagers facing first-degree murder and other charges in the shooting deaths eight months ago of a couple in their home near Garner.
Isrrael Vasquez and Jonathan Santillan were each indicted on two counts of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary in the Jan. 5 shootings of Jose Samual Flores Mendoza and his wife, Maria Saravia Mendoza, both 34.
Authorities say the Mendozas were unintended victims in a gang dispute and that the target of the shooting had lived in their house, at 708 Colonial Drive, Raleigh, in 2011 prior to the couple moving there.
They were found dead in their home shortly after 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 5. Their 3-year-old son was found unharmed.
Vasquez, who was 16 at the time of the shootings, was also indicted on charges of possession of a stolen firearm and possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.
Santillan, Vasquez's nephew who was 15 at the time of the crime, was indicted on additional charges of possession of a firearm with an altered serial number and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.
During a probable cause hearing in May to determine whether Santillan could be prosecuted as an adult, a witness testified that the teens, wearing hair nets, masks and gloves, kicked in the door of the Mendozas' home and shot them with an AK-47 and a handgun.
That witness, Moises Reyes, 19, was also indicted Tuesday on a charge of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder for allegedly driving Vasquez and Santillan from the scene of the crime, according to charging documents.
Maria Mendoza, who was killed first, was shot seven times, according to an autopsy report. Wake sheriff's investigator Scott Barefoot testified that the couple's child then ran from another room and watched his father get killed.
Investigators found throughout the home dozens of shell casings from a .45-caliber handgun and a 7.62mm rifle, according to search warrants, and were able to link the suspects as part of another investigation into a Dec. 4 shooting on Meadowbrook Road in which a man had been shot in the ankle.
Reyes and his brother, Pablo Vincente Reyes, 21, were also each indicted Tuesday on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
Moises Reyes has been in the Wake County Detention Center under an $851,000 bond since Aug. 3 on the charge, as well as charges of larceny of a motor vehicle, violation of a court order and resisting a public officer.
Pablo Reyes has been in jail since Jan. 2 on charges of felony probation violation and failure to appear on a misdemeanor.