Five people accused of stabbing a rival gang member to death in June will appear in court on Wednesday.
Igor Rai Ortiz, 20, Angel Rafael Bajaras Flores, 31, Adelain Leilani Ibarra, 20, are charged with murder in the death of 29-year-old Alberto Torres of Santa Barbara. Alondra Ochoa, 18, is charged as an accessory to the crime.
Under a separate case number, Alejandro De La Torre, 23, is charged as an accessory to murder. Prosecutors are considering filing a motion to join his case with other defendants.
Mr. Barajas, Mr. Ortiz, Ms. Ochoa and Ms. Ibarra pleaded not guilty during an arraignment July 8. Mr. De La Torre pleaded not guilty on July 15.
All defendants, alleged Westside gang members, face gang enhancements. They remain in County Jail without bail, according to jail records.
A juvenile charged in this case will remain in juvenile court, prosecutors said.
At 1:15 a.m. June 1, Santa Barbara Police Department officers were called to a report of an assault in the 1300 block of Cacique Street. Officers located an unconscious man, later identified as Mr. Torres.
He suffered multiple stab wounds and was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital where he later died.
During a bail hearing for Mr. De La Torre in late August, prosecutors claimed the the first four defendants were out tagging in Eastside Gang territory when they saw Mr. Torres and attacked him outside his home.
“The victim’s brother said that he was inside the residence when he heard the victim’s voice outside the residence. He ran outside. He saw the victim there holding his chest. The victim asked to be taken to the hospital and when the brother asked, ‘Who did this to you,” he (Mr. Torres) used the derogatory term for the Westside gang saying ‘The Weaksiders, they got me.’ The victim died essentially in his brother’s arms,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Kimberly Siegel.
In the days that followed, prosecutors said Mr. De La Torre urged the other defendants to be calm and not go out in their neighborhood due to heightened police presence.
During Wednesday’s hearing, Judge James Herman will either set a preliminary hearing date for the defendants or continue the case and set the preliminary hearing at another time.
The preliminary hearing is like a brief trial in which evidence is heard. At the end of the hearing Judge Herman will decide if the evidence is sufficient for the defendants to stand trial as charged.