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Wake County grand jury indicts two teens in double murder case

Posted August 21, 2013

Isrrael Vasquez appears in Wake County District Court on Jan. 24, 2013, for his first court appearance in the Jan. 5 shooting deaths of Jose and Maria Mendoza, who were found shot to death in their homes.
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— 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.

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  • IPayYouPay Aug 23, 2013

    Bummer, dude! Looks like your gang will be in prison now -- thank you, just keep it off my street.

  • dontstopnow Aug 22, 2013

    I was wondering that very thing meeper.

  • belovedsparrow Aug 22, 2013

    And yet people want to restrict the ability of a homeowner to protect themselves through gun legislation. Responsible gun owners are NOT the problem. These gang members and criminals that have stolen weapons are the problem! Making it harder to protect myself in my own home against a burglar that has an AK is ridiculous. If the criminals have an AK, I want an AK.


    Well said.

  • research9 Aug 22, 2013

    And yet people want to restrict the ability of a homeowner to protect themselves through gun legislation. Responsible gun owners are NOT the problem. These gang members and criminals that have stolen weapons are the problem! Making it harder to protect myself in my own home against a burglar that has an AK is ridiculous. If the criminals have an AK, I want an AK.

  • Rebelyell55 Aug 21, 2013

    I don't think the drug cartel is gonna help them out.

  • Obamacare saves lives Aug 21, 2013

    "... meanwhile, 10,000 children died in Africa, nothing in the news, happens daily."
    bombayrunner

    If you lived there, would you bring children into that environment? Those people are their own worst enemies.

  • meeper Aug 21, 2013

    Wanna bet they're here illegally? Rarely do we see that reported.

  • lwe1967 Aug 21, 2013

    Why do these kids act like animals. I do have to say this, that they have it a lot better here, than where they come from, or their parents.

  • bombayrunner Aug 21, 2013

    ... meanwhile, 10,000 children died in Africa, nothing in the news, happens daily.

  • blahblahblah Aug 21, 2013

    Wonder what happened to the girl who was arrested that had one of the guns that was used in the murders??

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