Orange County News

Gang member sentenced for Santa Ana restaurant murder

Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Santa Ana gang member was convicted Thursday of fatally shooting an unarmed man in front of restaurant in 2011.

Ivan Sanchez, 23, was found guilty of one felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death.

Ricardo Rocha was convicted as a co-defendant in the crime in June. He received 40 years to life in state prison. His sister, Maria Rocha is also charged.

Sanchez and the two Rochas got in an argument on the night of February 13, 2011, at Mariscos La Ola restaurant in Santa Ana. The three defendants left and returned with a firearm.

Esteban Navarrete, 35, and his wife were leaving the restaurant when Sanchez and Ricardo Rocha approached him. Maria stayed in their car as a getaway driver. Navarrete explained he was not involved in the earlier argument. Sanchez shot him in the head. He fired several other shots but did not hit anyone else.

Sanchez was arrested four days later in a traffic stop.

Sanchez faces 50 years to life in state prison at his sentencing, scheduled for December 7.

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