Preliminary Hearing Continued in KetMoRee Murder Trial

KetMoReeby Antoinnette Borbon

The five defendants charged with the death of Peter Gonzales, 23, a Hacienda Heights man, were scheduled for a preliminary hearing today, but it was continued to a later date in December.

Carlos Biviescas, Martyn Alex Contreras, Anthony Daniel Rivera, Zackary Thomas Sandeno and Victor Manuel Vergara have been charged with murder and gang-related enhancements. The five defendants are allegedly known to be involved with the criminal street gang, Norteños, out of Solano County.

During search warrants served in the Vacaville area, authorities found a gun, drugs and cash. According to police, it appeared to be that of alleged gang activity.

Police remain actively in search of another suspect, Joseph Sandeno, 20, of Vacaville, who they believe to have an involvement in the victim’s death. The suspect at large, a witness stated, “fled the scene covered in blood down to his shoes.”

The Yolo County District Attorney’s Office filed a two-part amended complaint, emphasizing that the crime was of a criminal street gang nature.

Supervising District Attorney Garrett Hamilton requested to keep the defendants together, in his motion during the first postponed arraignment.

Witnesses say a fight broke out in KetMoRee Thai Restaurant & Bar at about 1:30 AM on Saturday September 19.

“It was a bloody scene, unnecessary violence,” stated one witness. “I saw about seven to eight people all intertwined, fighting, girls were screaming as the kid lay passed out on the ground while he was still being kicked, hit,” said this male witness.

Bouncers rushed in to break up the fight but it was too late, he told the Vanguard.

He has given a brief statement to authorities.

Peter Gonzales, 23, died of a fatal stab wound. He was taken to the UCD Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, according to UCD employee alert emails.

Mr. Gonzales was in Davis to attend his sister’s wedding. The family is asking anyone who has information to contact the Davis Police Department.

Many in the Davis Community are still in shock over the death of Gonzales.

“It used to be a calm, safe place to raise your kids, to live but I’m not so sure anymore,” expressed one resident.

Davis residents turned out for a discussion that the Vanguard and Civenergy hosted. The topic focused  on what the community can do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.

Local business owners who are open and heavily populated during the nighttime hours have agreed to hire a private security team to monitor the downtown clubs on the busy nights. They have also integrated the use of wands that will be used on patrons before entering the establishments, and are training bartenders on when to stop service to an individual who has become too inebriated.

Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel said they are entertaining the notion of putting in a substation downtown.

Many of the Davis residents in attendance were concerned about the problems with alcohol that young students have and the often violent behavior that follows.

A status conference for the five defendants is scheduled for November 20 to confirm the preliminary hearing set for December 2, 2015.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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