Miguel Angel Rivera Jr. of Menlo Park was sentenced to 35 years to life in state prison on Friday, July 28, after having pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in connection with the October 2012 shooting death of Christopher Baker, a member of a rival gang.
Prosecutors asked that Judge Lisa Novak allow Mr. Rivera, who is 27, to be eligible for parole after serving 35 years, according to a report from District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
Prosecutors said that Mr. Rivera did not receive credit for time served since he is currently serving a sentence of 14 years and four months for being in possession of a firearm, a violation stemming from his status as a felon. His sentences are to run consecutively, adding up to 49 years and four months in total, prosecutors said.
The judge ordered Mr. Rivera to pay $10,000 in restitution and an amount to be determined to Mr. Baker’s mother, Keisha Knowles, who made a statement at the sentencing hearing, prosecutors said.
Mr. Rivera was required to register as a gang member. He admitted to a gang affiliation, to having a felony conviction, and to a previous felony strike against him, all of which enhance the charges, prosecutors said.
Police found Mr. Baker, the shooting victim, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds on Terra Villa Avenue in East Palo Alto on Oct. 5, 2012. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Also charged in the shooting death of Mr. Baker and in custody on a no-bail status is Jerry Coneal III, 23, of Menlo Park. After five days of evidence presented so far by the prosecution, Mr. Coneal’s jury trial before Judge Novak is set to resume Monday morning (July 31).
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