Gang-Related Robbery Trial Testimony Continues

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by Kelsey Landon

Thursday morning, November 2, 2017, the trial for defendants Joshua Cadenaz-Lopez and Ricky Gomez Hernandez reconvened in Department 14.  The witness testimony of Detective Matthew Boudinot, a member of the West Sacramento Police Department, continued throughout the morning.

Boudinot testified, on the grounds of his expert knowledge of gangs, to gang activity in the case of Hernandez and Cadenaz-Lopez.

Over the course of Thursday morning, the jury was shown various pictures and videos believed to be related to the case.

The first of the visual evidence displayed were various videos found on Cadenaz-Lopez’s cell phone, videos taken before one of the robberies in this case. The videos all display Cadenaz-Lopez and others in a vehicle that appears to be moving, with music playing in the background, with Cadenaz-Lopez recording.

Several times in these videos, young men hold up their hands in what appear to be hand signs. In one of the videos, Cadenaz-Lopez is wearing a glove and is holding what appears to be a firearm.

Boudinot claimed that the videos confirmed to him that Cadenaz-Lopez was at least associated with members of the Broderick Boys, a branch of the Norteño street gang that is known to operate out of Yolo County.

After Deputy District Attorney Kyle Hasapes finished playing the videos, he moved on to display a series of photos to the jury. Hasapes explained that investigators collected these photos from Cadenaz-Lopez’s social media posts and from other known active gang members’ accounts.

Boudinot identified Cadenaz-Lopez as displaying one of the known hand signs for the Broderick Boys, standing next to known members in these photos.

The detective continued to read various captions from these photos and confirmed that, in his opinion, they contained language that was characteristic of gang jargon.

Hasapes finished his video evidence with a rap music video.

Detective Boudinot identified active, registered Broderick Boys within the rap music video, and went on to claim that, based on every photo and video he saw, he believes Cadenaz-Lopez was an active Broderick gang member at the time of this robbery.

Boudinot went on to explain that he believed the four individuals in the surveillance video worked together for the benefit of the gang, or at least in association with the gang.

During the cross-examination of Detective Boudinot, the defense counsel had Boudinot explain the process through which a member of his unit confirms a person as an active gang member. He explained
that if a person becomes a validated member by the police department, they are only removed of that title if they are not detected to have any gang relations for at least five years.

While Boudinot’s unit requires at least three criteria be met on a list of measures used to validate gang members, Boudinot confirmed that other units might not be so strict. Despite this, Boudinot and others in his unit rely on the validations as well their investigations.

Boudinot did confirm that he would not validate certain other jurisdictions’ identified gang members as ones in his own jurisdiction. He explained that his unit takes in the totality of the circumstances, sometimes requiring more or less than the three-criteria standard.

The detective remained clear that there are checks and balances in place to make sure all facts in identifying gang members are accurate, facts that he and his colleagues almost never disagree on.

The defense counsel asked the witness if he could explain the significance of the crown symbol to the Broderick gang. Boudinot did not know the significance of the crown symbol, and could not confirm if the crown tattoo behind Hernandez’s ear had any gang significance at all.

Next, the defense counsel displayed two photos of two young men arrested in a traffic stop in 2013. Detective Boudinot confirmed that the two photos were mislabeled as far as the two men’s names, Hernandez being one of the men in the photos.

The defense counsel confirmed with Boudinot that Hernandez was about 16 when the photo was taken, and all tattoos visible on him today were visible on him then.

When asked if there were any gang signs or statements in reference to the Broderick Boys made at the scenes of the robberies, Boudinot denied that there were any.

Boudinot went on, when prompted, to confirm that Hernandez was not shown in any of the social media photos Boudinot has seen that appear to be gang-related. Boudinot claimed to look for these kinds of photos about once a month, or when he has time, and only knows of one photo with Hernandez in it.

Continuing with the cross-examination, the defense counsel asked Boudinot if the victims at this robbery at any point became aware that the incident was gang-related, to which Boudinot said they did not.

Detective Boudinot, under the defense counsel’s questioning, identified different levels of gang hierarchy titles. Boudinot explained the term “wannabe” as an aspiring gang member who the gang does not identify as an official member yet. An “OG” is an “original gangster,” also known as the senior member of a gang and in charge, or a “shotcaller.”

When asked, if one of the characteristics of a gang was to instill fear in the community, then why would the perpetrators of a crime not confirm the gang’s association through gang-related symbols at the scene, Boudinot answered that word of mouth, reputation, and other methods are used to send a message.

When Hasapes redirected his questioning of Boudinot, Boudinot once again confirmed that there are ways the community becomes aware of gang activity, outside of the use of gang symbols.

The defense counsel then finished their cross-examination, and Hasapes took over redirect.

Hasapes asked how common it is for Boudinot to see confirmed Broderick Boys under 20 years old, to which the detective replied that the youth of someone does not negate whether or not they can be an active member of the Broderick gang.

Detective Boudinot was then dismissed, and Hasapes had no more witnesses to call to testify.

In the defense counsel’s turn to call witnesses to testify, West Sacramento Officer Nick Barreiro was recalled to the stand.

The defense counsel asked Barreiro if he knew the significance of the car mirror he found at the time he found it, and he replied in the negative. He said if he believed it to have been important at the time, he would have made a report.

The defense counsel finished their questioning of Barreiro and the jury was dismissed until 9 a.m. Friday, November 3, 2017.

After the jury was dismissed the judge confirmed with both counsels that the statement Boudinot made, claiming that he recognized the voice in the ampm surveillance video as that of Hernandez’s, would be ruled as “failed to discover.”


Come see the Vanguard Event – “In Search of Gideon” – which highlights some of the key work performed by the Yolo County Public Defender’s Office…

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch puts 8 to 12 interns into the Yolo County House to monitor and report on what happens. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org

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