Jury Hangs on Gang Affiliation, Guilty of Issuing Criminal Threats, DUI, and Refusing to Take a Chemical Test
WOODLAND – Alleged gang member, Daniel Vallejo, was found guilty of criminal threats, driving under the influence, and the enhancement of refusal to take a chemical test.
Mr. Vallejo was charged with issuing criminal threats, participating in criminal street gang activity, driving under the influence, and refusing a chemical test. He allegedly made death threats to a towing company owner and wife while emphasizing his affiliation with the Norteños gang, after his car was towed from Burger Saloon in Woodland.
Vallejo allegedly left his puppy in the car while it was towed and he threatened to kill the owner of the towing company as well as his wife and kids. Vallejo also allegedly said, “I am Norteños; we are the Norteños; we run this town” to the owner of the towing company while issuing death threats.
After issuing death threats, Daniel Vallejo allegedly followed the car of the towing company owner for a while and ultimately took off. Investigator Tim Keeney noticed the abnormal driving routine of the defendant’s vehicle and requested that Deputy Gary Richter follow the vehicle. When Deputy Richter approached the vehicle, he claimed that he noticed the odor of alcohol as well as a dog in the back.
The closing argument made by the defense attorney Mathew Martinez argued that the threats made by Daniel Vallejo were drunken, empty threats since Mr. Vallejo was out drinking with his brother, mourning the death of his father, on the night of the incident. Attorney Martinez stated that there was no immediate prospective result from Mr. Vallejo’s threats.
The prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Kyle Hasapes, stated in his closing argument that the basic principles of gang activity were fear and intimidation, and Daniel Vallejo had succeeded instilling fear and intimidation through his death threats.
After two weeks of trial, the jury could not come to an agreement regarding the defendant’s gang affiliation and eventually found the defendant guilty of issuing criminal threats, driving under the influence, and refusing to take a chemical test.
Judge Richardson thanked the jury for completing their civil duty and commented that, although the jury system was not perfect, it is a system in which we believe. Judge Richardson also expressed his appreciation for the entire jury, especially the two pregnant ladies in the jury, and wished them their best.
As Judge Richardson went over the documents for the defendant, he asked Mr. Vallejo whether his birthday was the day of the trial. After receiving a positive response, Judge wished Daniel Vallejo a happy birthday.
Daniel Vallejo’s sentencing is scheduled for March 3 at 10 am.