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California teenager found guilty of murdering taco truck owner

A California judge has found a teenager guilty of murdering a taco truck owner last year

MODESTO, Calif. — A California judge on Thursday found a teenager guilty of murdering a taco truck owner last year, The Modesto Bee reported.

The then 13-year-old boy went to the Modesto taco truck on Feb. 16, 2021 and fatally shot Rafael Avila-Rodriguez in the face, Judge Rubén Villalobos ruled Thursday in Stanislaus County Superior Court.

The defendant showed little emotion as Villalobos announced his decision, The Bee reported.

California law states that children under the age of 14 can only be prosecuted if they “knew its injustice” at the time of the crime.

The newspaper reported that the judge said the accused knew his actions were wrong, noting that he fled immediately after the shooting, hiding the gun and dodging and deceiving the police.

The teenager has not yet been sentenced, but the juvenile court’s jurisdiction ends at the age of 25, meaning he can no longer be jailed in connection with the Avila-Rodriguez killing thereafter.

“I hope you don’t spend life in prison,” the judge said to the minor. “I hope you spend a lifetime honoring yourself, your parents and the life you took, Mr. Avila-Rodriguez’s.”

While prosecutors said the teen’s motive was robbery, the newspaper reported, the judge said he doubted it because video showed just seven seconds between the time the teen approached the truck’s order window and the sound of the gunshot .

“Rather, the video testifies to a completely senseless act of violence,” said Villalobos.

Modesto is about 150 kilometers east of San Francisco.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/california-teen-found-guilty-taco-truck-owners-slaying-84106103 California teenager found guilty of murdering taco truck owner

Ari Notis

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