Alejandro Naranjo will appear in court on Feb. 6 to face what likely will be a life sentence for killing a Ceres man and a Modesto woman at a bar west of Waterford in 2014.
Prosecutors say that Naranjo, now 24, was a member of the Sureño street gang who was armed when he walked into the El Rincon bar at 10012 Yosemite Boulevard, a bar known to be frequented by Norteno street gang members. They classified the shooting of Jose Antonio Leon, 34, of Ceres, as gangland style.
The defendant could be delivered a maximum sentence of 166 years and six months to life in prison. Naranjo agreed to a plea deal offered by the Stanislaus County District Attorney's office to drop a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.
The deadly shootings occurred at approximately 11:30 p.m. on April 26, 2014 outside the bar. According to prosecutors, Naranjo approached Leon and fired several rounds into him. After he dropped, Naranjo reportedly walked up and fired a direct shot into his head.
Right after the shooting, Naranjo turned to Corrine Winter, 33, of Modesto, who was sitting inside of her Kia Sorento, and demanded for her to turn over her car. She refused, prompting Naranjo to fire at her twice through the window. He fled the scene leaving two dead.
Naranjo had spent about an hour in the bar with his girlfriend leading up to the killings. Deputy District Attorney Brad Nix said Naranjo went looking for trouble and concealed a gun under his clothing. Witnesses said that they watched Naranjo looking at Leon repeatedly and appeared to be initiating a fight. Leon left the bar and was followed by Naranjo. When his car was driven away from the scene without him, the defendant tried to stage the carjacking.
Naranjo surrendered when Stanislaus County Sheriff's detectives contacted him, his arrest coming at his home in west Modesto. During interrogations he confessed to the killings.
After the plea bargain deal, Naranjo plead guilty on Dec. 28 to two counts of first-degree murder and to attempted carjacking with the use of a gun.