Oakland Man Gets 17 Years for His Role in Double Murder

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A 20-year-old man was sentenced on Friday to 17 years to life in state prison for his role in a shooting and fire in East Oakland three years ago that left two men dead and a third man badly injured.

Francisco Hernandez Jr. and his father, Francisco Jesus Hernandez Sr., 40, were both charged with two counts of murder, one count of premeditated attempted murder, the special circumstance of committing multiple murders and attempted arson for the incident in the 9900 block of Empire Road at about 1:45 a.m. on Aug. 8, 2016, that claimed the lives of Juan Ramos and Alfonso Ibanez Jr.

However, Alameda County prosecutors agreed to a deal on Aug. 14 in which Hernandez Jr. pleaded no contest to premeditated attempted murder for shooting Cruz and all the other charges against him were dismissed.

Francisco Jesus Hernandez Sr. stood trial in October and was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, the special circumstance of committing multiple murders and attempted arson.

He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he's sentenced on Jan. 10.

Alameda County prosecutor Stacie Pettigrew said Francisco Jesus Hernandez Sr. and his son got upset when Ramos, Ibanez and a third man, Miguel Cruz, were doing donuts in a pickup truck.

In her opening statement in the father's trial in October, Pettigrew said the evidence in the case indicates that Hernandez Sr. shot Ramos seven or eight times in the area of his head and shot Ibanez twice in the neck and head.

Evidence at a preliminary hearing for the father and son last year indicates that Hernandez Jr. then shot Cruz in the face, arm, chest and hand and the father and son poured gasoline on the truck he was in and set it on fire.

However, Cruz was able to get out of the truck, put out the fire and get help, and later identified the father and son as his assailants when he testified against them.

At the end of the preliminary hearing last year Alameda County Superior Court Judge Morris Jacobson ordered the father and son to stand trial on all of the charges against them.

Jacobson said that even though Hernandez Jr. didn't shoot Ramos and Cruz he should still stand trial on two murder counts for their deaths because he was an active participant in their shootings and knew of his father's intent to kill them.

However, Jacobson said at the sentencing of Hernandez Jr. on Friday that he thinks the lighter state prison term the son is receiving compared to his father "is appropriate" given his lesser role in the double murder.

Before he was sentenced, Hernandez read a statement in which he apologized for his actions.

Seven family members of Ramos and Ibanez attended the sentencing.

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