Stanton's 18th Street Gang Used SUV as Lethal Weapon in Turf Battle

Ruben Roa 18th Street Gang .jpg
Ruben Roa: Second time is a charm
In a narrow Stanton alley at about 8 a.m. on Nov. 2, 2006, Rito "Boxer" Guajardo pedaled his mountain bike as fast as he could because the angry occupants of a pursuing, white Mercury Mountaineer SUV--three rival Latino gang members, including one nicknamed "Sick One"--wanted him dead.

Unfortunately, Guajardo--a member of the Big Stanton criminal street gang--didn't have the 12-gauge shotgun he'd used two months earlier in a shootout with members of the 18th Street gang.

But Guajardo, 44, enjoyed flabbergasting luck.

Ruben Roa, the 24-year-old driver of the stolen SUV, attempted to run him over but missed.

Guajardo must have felt incredible relief. He'd been caught in an area that both gangs claimed as their own turf and the enemy soldiers in the SUV had disappeared. He knew the faster he pedaled, the closer he'd get to his own homies and safety.

But Roa had no intention of accepting defeat. He doubled back to the same alley near Beach Boulevard and saw Guajardo still attempting his getaway. This time he made sure he won the contest. With his target between him a light pole, Roa aimed the SUV and slammed his foot on the gas pedal. 

Guajardo's luck and life ended instantaneously in a gruesome convergence of wood, steel and human flesh.

Court records coldly describe Guajardo's demise this way: "a vehicle versus bicycle incident."

After the killing, Roa ran some errands and then ditched the SUV. He didn't know it at the time, but he also essentially left his calling card inside the vehicle for Orange County Sheriff's Department homicide investigators. Forensic testing found his DNA on the steering wheel.

Prosecutors in the Orange County District Attorney's office charged him with murder. Roa's defense lawyer succeeded in giving jurors a conviction option: manslaughter. It didn't help the gangster's cause that, according to witnesses, he accelerated into Guajardo and no skid marks were found at the crime scene. After the jury sided with the prosecution, Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly sentenced Roa to a term of 15 years to life in prison.

Feeling cheated, Roa appealed. This month, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana considered his complaints. In a 15-page ruling, a three-justice panel ruled that the hoodlum was wrong about the correctness of Kelly's jury instructions.

But they determined that Roa had one good point. Kelly had allowed him to be convicted and sentenced for three crimes--murder, street terrorism and receiving stolen property (plus gang enhancements). The justices found that the murder and street terrorism charges stemmed from a single act. They said it was unfair to punish him twice for the same crime.

The move is essentially meaningless, however. Kelly had sentenced Roa to a concurrent, two-year term for the street terrorism conviction. Upshot: the stiff prison term remains intact.

In reality, Roa's prison stint will be at least 44 years. He previously had been sentenced to 29 years in prison for numerous other unrelated assault convictions. If he ever emerges back into society through the wishes of a future state parole board, he'll be in his 70s.

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14 comments
sexymendez2012
sexymendez2012

U MATHAFUKAS DNT EVEN KNW EXACTLY WAT HAPPND SO Y U B LEAViN COMMENTS DAT MAKE NO SENSE OR HAViN NUTHiN TO DO WiT DA CASE!! SO SHUT DA FUK UP!!

BetaRayBill
BetaRayBill

I like when escorias like these kill each other, they might be human being but they behave like animal, and therefore do not fit in our society.

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Sgt641
Sgt641

Just as a rabid animal, After a certain point the human cannot return to normalcy.  The mind is so damaged and polluted that there is nothing to recover.  These people dont operate on the same "Program" that the majority do.  The are wired differently.

Rayann Castro
Rayann Castro

"After the killing, Roa ran some errands and then ditched the SUV."

So what exactly went through his head after he hit this guy? Suddenly remembered he needed a gallon of milk or something? Geez...what a waste of life.

Headjazzer
Headjazzer

How much is it going to cost society to keep this worthless piece of crap in prison? What for? 

Streets
Streets

A 44 year old gang-banger riding a bike?...........Piece of Caca!  They cancelled each other out.........

20ftJesus
20ftJesus

He wants to be imprisoned -- free meals; free room; everything paid for. 

We should have an easy-to-apply death penalty for these types of cases; not as a deterrent to crime, but as a cost-savings mechanism. 

sexymendez2012
sexymendez2012

WTF U B TALKiN ABT?? U ON A MATHAFUKiN GOOD ONE!! LOL

sexymendez2012
sexymendez2012

YEA HE FORGOT MY ANTOJiTOS!! Y GOT A PROBLEM WiT DAT??

sexymendez2012
sexymendez2012

UR DA WORTHLESS PiECE OF CRAP FOR COMMENTiNG ON A CASE DAT U HAVE NO MATHAFUKiN CLUE OF WAT EXACTLY HAPPNED!!

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