by Antoinnette Borbon
As the Honorable Paul Richardson handed down the 68-year-to-life sentence, the family members of Michael Reyes wept out loud. But they didn’t stop with mere tears.
After carefully going over the probation report, taking into account the words of both prosecutor Amanda Zambor and defense attorney James Granucci, Judge Richardson handed down a 40-year indeterminate sentence with an added 28 years determinate – to a man authorities say allegedly premeditated the attempted murder of two victims.
Once the defendant’s sentencing was over, a family member quickly charged toward Deputy District Attorney Amanda Zambor. As she sobbed, she screamed, “Why not just kill him, just kill him….there’s no difference…just kill him, put him to death.”
Reyes, making remarks to DDA Zambor himself, requested to be taken out of the courtroom.
Michael Reyes was found guilty of attempted murder after shooting at the two victims six times, hitting the male three times. It was alleged that Reyes committed the crimes for the purpose/benefit of criminal street gang activity.
Along with the attempted murder charge, Reyes was found guilty of possession of a firearm, assault with a deadly weapon, willful discharge of a firearm and the additional charge of felon in possession of firearm and ammunition.
Reyes was also charged with gang enhancements, which followed the separate terms and added years to his original 15-to-life sentence for attempted murder.
Judge Paul Richardson explained that “the elements of aggravated and mitigated factors have been met but the aggravation is the stronger factor. I feel the upper base term is appropriate for the gang enhancements. The defendant has a dangerous and violent past.”
Defense counsel argued that the sentence was double sentencing Reyes for the crimes, stating, “Your honor, this is like double sentencing the defendant for the crimes. ” Mr. Granucci explained that, according to laws pertaining to gang-related crimes, the years were excessive.
But not so, according to Ms. Zambor, who referred to a recent case from 2014, People v. [Reggie Lamont] Hall, defining that the enhancement charges were made clear, the substantive offense of promoting gang activity was separate from the underlying charged offenses, and the elements were met for the sentence.
Michael Reyes will be transported to prison to begin his sentence.