Teen accused in shooting death of couple to be tried as adult

From staff reportsMay 21, 2013 

— A Wake County District Court judge found probable cause Tuesday to transfer a 15-year-old boy’s murder case to adult court, where he will stand accused of fatally shooting a couple inside their Wake County home earlier this year.

Under state law, when anyone 13 or older is charged with first-degree murder, their cases must be transferred to adult court.

The name of the 15-year-old will not be publicly revealed until he is indicted by a grand jury, an acknowledgement of his youth.

The boy is accused of killing Jose S. Mendoza and Maria Saravia Mendoza, who investigators have described as unintended targets in a war between rival gangs. The 15-year-old is one of two people charged in the case.

Isrrael Vasquez, 16, was charged as an adult with murder, felony conspiracy, first-degree burglary and possession of stolen property.

The Mendozas, each 34, were inside their townhome at 708 Colonial Drive, outside Garner, at about 12:30 a.m. Jan. 5, when investigators contend the teens broke in wielding guns. Investigators contend the teens had meant to enter a home where they believed rival gang members were. The Wake County sheriff said at the time of their arrest that there was no indication the teens knew the Mendozas.

The Mendozas worked in the kitchen at the Golden Corral restaurant on Grenele Street in south Raleigh.

They had two children, a 12-year-old son and a 3-year-old son, who was inside the townhome at the time of the shooting, but physically unharmed.

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