Mario Javier Parra, 24, and Carlos Alejandro Bautista, Jr., 23, both of Modesto, were convicted of serious and violent felony crimes following an eight-week jury trial that concluded on July 29.
Parra and Bautista each face a potential maximum sentence of life in state prison. Both defendants are being held without bail in the Stanislaus County jail pending victim impact statements and sentencing which is currently set for Sept. 16.
Deputy District Attorney Donya Nunes prosecuted the case.
On February 19, 2018, Parra and Bautista went with other Deep South Side Modesto Norteno gang members to rival Sureno gang member Omar Castaneda’s home to shoot him. When they arrived, they passed Castaneda who was standing on the street near his truck. Parra and Bautista’s vehicle made a U-turn, stopped alongside the truck and fired four to six shots from a modified high-powered assault rifle. Castaneda immediately took cover while one bullet passed through the leg of his 25-year-old girlfriend, Jovina Elisa Mendoza, who was seated in the passenger seat of the truck. Parra and Bautista then fled the scene.
Two months later, on April 11, 2018, Parra, Bautista and other members of their gang took part in a planned home invasion robbery in Ceres. Alexis Martinez, 23, and Marilyn Magallon, 26, were in their home eating dinner when the defendants broke a window to retrieve a video camera and kicked in their front door. The victims were threatened at gunpoint, struck several times in the head and dragged through the home while the house was ransacked for things to steal.
Sheriff’s investigators identified Parra and Bautista as suspects. Searches of homes and vehicles in 2018 and early 2019 led to the retrieval of ammunition and stolen firearms including several modified assault rifles.
After a trial presided over by Judge Nancy Leo, a Stanislaus County Superior Court jury convicted Parra of attempted murder, voluntary manslaughter, shooting at an occupied vehicle, two counts of home invasion robbery, active participation in a criminal street gang, being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of ammunition. Also found true were the enhancements of being a gang principal armed with a firearm causing great bodily injury, personal use of a firearm and doing these crimes for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
Bautista was convicted of two counts of voluntary manslaughter, shooting at an occupied vehicle, two counts of home invasion robbery, criminal threats, active participation in a criminal street gang, and possession of an assault weapon. Also found true were the enhancements of being a gang principal armed with a firearm causing great bodily injury, personal use of a firearm and doing these crimes for the benefit of a criminal street gang.