Pixel Tracker

Friday, December 14 , 2018, 7:47 am | Mostly Cloudy 48º


2 Teens Plead Guilty in Connection with Santa Maria Stabbing Near Pioneer Valley High School

Two boys charged in connection with a fatal stabbing of a 15 year old in northeast Santa Maria have pleaded guilty while the case proceeds against the other four defendants.

The incident occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. Jan. 25 in the 1600 block of East Donovan Road near Suey Road during a confrontation between two groups.

Marco Arce Ramos Pena, a student at nearby Pioneer Valley High School, was stabbed in the afternoon altercation and died later at Marian Regional Medical Center.

Six people were charged in connection with the stabbing, with several arrested months afterward.

They were charged with murder and a special allegation that the crime was connected to gang activity.

The defendants ranged in age from 14 to 19 at the time of the killing, which was one of Santa Maria’s six homicides in January.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office charged the juveniles as adults.

In late September, 16-year-old Andrew Molina pleaded guilty to an added count of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury plus a gang allegation, Deputy District Attorney Mai Trieu said.

On Dec. 7, he is expected to be sentenced to four years in state prison.

In early November, a second defendant, Gerardo Gonzalez Flores, now 17, pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon and admitted the gang enhancement.

Under the plea deal, he will be sentenced to eight years in prison during a hearing Dec. 14.

The original murder charge against the pair was dropped under the plea agreement.

Four remaining defendants — Israel Gaspar Cruz, 19; Carlos Geovani Perez, now 15; Daniel Jaime, 17; and Pablo Juarez, 16 — were ordered to return to court in early January.

Cruz is accused of wielding the weapon during the altercation.

During the Jan. 4 hearing, Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Gustavo Lavayen is expected to schedule a preliminary hearing.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >