Novato High School Minors to Be Charged With Murdering Classmate as Adults: DA

Two Novato High School students, both minors, will be charged with murder and attempted murder of their classmate as adults, the Marin County district attorney's office said Tuesday.

A 20-year-old man was arrested Sunday in connection with the fatal shooting in Novato last week. Elmer Fernando Machado-Rivera, of San Rafael, who is also the cousin of one of the juvenile defendants, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy after the fact in the homicide case stemming from the shooting death of Novato High School student Edwin Josue Ramirez Guerra, 17, of San Rafael. Another student, Lefferson Diaz, also was shot and stabbed in the incident but survived.

The Marin County DA's office announced Tuesday that it will be filing murder, attempted murder and special circumstances charges against the two minors, Juan Carlos Martinez Henriquez and Edwin Guevara, in the adult court system.

Machado-Rivera is not being charged with the murder or the attempted murder but as an accessory after the fact.

Neither juvenile faces the death penalty because they were juveniles at the time of the offense. Under court decisions and California statutory law death penalty cannot be imposed on juveniles, Marin County District Attorney Edward S. Berberian said. "They are subject to the possibility of life without parole sentences but under California statutory law that punishment is discretionary with the court and if convicted on qualifying crimes would be addressed during the sentencing process," Berberian said.

Law enforcement agencies conducted two raids at two homes in the Novato area on Thursday and arrested the two minors.

The district attorney's office said the two students will be placed in a yet-to-be determined felony criminal department Wednesday morning.

Classes resumed at Novato High School for the first time Tuesday since the fatal shooting. Counselors were present to help the community of 1,400 students to cope with their grief. Student body president Romario Conrado has set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for the victim's families.

The account has so far raised $2,470.

"I am always here for anyone, even if we've never even communicated. Do not hesitate on sending me a message if you need an ear, a shoulder, a friend, or even a hug," Conrado says in a message on the page.

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