2 Salinas gangsters get life terms in fatal shooting

A pair of Salinas gangsters will spend at least 50 years in prison for a retaliatory shooting two years ago that left a 16-year-old dead.

Retired appellate court Justice Wendy Duffy today sentenced Ricardo Martinez, 21, and Santiago Ortiz, 22, to two life sentences for the murder of Frank Sanchez Jr.

On Oct. 31, a jury convicted Martinez and Ortiz of murder and shooting into an occupied vehicle for the benefit of a criminal street gang. The guilty verdict followed a three-
week trial.

The killing happened on the evening of July 28, 2010, when Martinez and Ortiz, along with two accomplices, drove to Capitol and West Market streets to commit a gang retaliatory shooting.

Ortiz, armed with a loaded handgun, got out of his vehicle and sneaked up to a parked car occupied by Sanchez Jr.

Ortiz fired into the car, striking Sanchez in the head and killing him instantly.

The killer returned to his vehicle, driven by Martinez, and they sped off.

An investigation by Salinas Police detectives led to the arrest of Martinez and Ortiz the following September.

At the sentencing, Sanchez Jr.’s family expressed their thanks to Joel Anaya, Chris Fairbanks, and Brian Johnson of the Salinas Police Department and Peter Austen, Valarie Duran and Susana Reyes of the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.

Martinez and Ortiz must each serve a minimum of 50 years in prison before being considered for parole.

Other coverage:

2 Salinas men sentenced in 2010 gang murder (The Salinas Californian)