New information was revealed Friday in the case of a popular Belmont high school football star shot to death in January 2019.
There are four defendants in the case, two are being tried as juveniles, including one is an adult currently in an Indiana jail for another crime.
Antonio Valencia, one of the suspects made a court appearance on Friday.
It is the start of a legal process that almost didn’t happen.
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It’s easy to see why the shooting death of then 17-year-old Mohammad Othman, was a case the community wanted solved at all costs.
The Carlmont High School student was a popular football star and his funeral was filled with devastated friends.
Othman was found shot to death late at night on January 2019 at Central Elementary school.
Four people were taken into custody then but released three years later. They were formally arrested and will face charges.
“It’s complicated because there were a number of people involved,” said prosecutor Tricia Povah. “Not everyone was entirely honest in the beginning. So trying to sort out what happened that night took quite a bit of time and a great deal of investigation by the Belmont Police.”
Court records revealed Othman and a friend met with a group including the suspects to buy marijuana. Police accounts said they believe the drug deal was a set up, meaning the suspects didn’t really have the item.
They also said they believe Othman had the "show money" but not enough to make the buy.
“It was an effort to see if they could get away with something without having to pay for it. But one group pulled out guns.” said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
The group included Valencia, Ruben Gonzales Magallenes, who remains in an Indiana jail on a separate murder charge and two others who we are not naming because they are in juvenile court, though one is now an adult.
Wagstaffe said there were two shooters but acknowledges they don’t know which was the actual killer.
“Each fired once and we don’t know which one was the fatal shot and which is the one that simply grazed him,” he said.
The defendants in juvenile court will remain largely out of public view.
The one suspect in an Indiana jail will have to be tried in that murder case first. Valencia did not have an attorney and will return here to face charges in court next week. He is being held without bail.