By Sarah Abfalter
On Friday, a sixth co-defendant, 20-year-old Joseph Gregory Sandeno, pled not guilty to first-degree murder charges and gang-related enhancements stemming from the fatal stabbing of 23-year-old Peter Gonzales on September 19, 2015. Gonzales was killed after a fight broke out at about 1:30 a.m. outside the KetMoRee Thai Restaurant & Bar in the 200 block of G Street, according to Davis police.
Sandeno joins five other co-defendants: Martyn Alex Contreras, Zachary Thomas Sandeno, Victor Manuel Vergara, Carlos Biviescas, and Anthony Daniel Rivera, all of whom have pled not guilty to the murder. While the other five co-defendants have been in custody since the end of September, Joseph Sandeno had remained at large. He was finally taken into custody just before 1:00 a.m. on November 28.
According to reports, all six defendants are allegedly known to be part of the Solano County Norteños criminal street gang, and defendant Carlos Biviescas has been convicted of multiple felonies and served prison time in the past.
Gonzales, a southern California resident, was in Davis the night of the fatal stabbing, prior to attending his sister’s wedding scheduled for that Sunday. According to witnesses, a fight broke out outside of the bar after midnight and Gonzales ran in to help his brothers who were being assaulted. Bouncers eventually intervened to break up the confrontation, but by that time Gonzales had suffered a fatal stab wound. He was transported to UC Davis Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
Due to the large number of defendants in this case, counsel for both sides agreed to push the date for a preliminary hearing for all six defendants to February 8, 2016, and the hearing is predicted to last five days or more. Counsel for both sides will meet on January 28 for a pre-hearing conference.