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Murder suspect pleads guilty

A man charged in a 2015 murder, and later an attempted murder, awaits sentencing on both cases. In the Madera County Superior Court on Thursday, Oscar Reyes, 21, wore an orange jumpsuit as he stood before Judge Dale J. Blea. He pled guilty to the second-degree murder of Fabian Hernandez, 35, of Madera, and for the attempted murder of another victim several days later.

His alleged accomplice in the second shooting, Victor Sanchez, 17, also pled guilty to attempted murder. Both suspects also pled guilty to gang enhancements. Madera deputy district attorney Rachel Cartier prosecuted the case.

“We consider that a major gang case, and I believe that Cartier did an excellent job on that,” said Madera County District Attorney David A. Linn. “We’re gonna get significant time on both defendants.”

According to Madera Police Det. Shant Sheklanian, Hernandez was fatally shot on June 18, 2015, in the living room of his home at 1110 Lacreta Ave., at which a barrage of gunfire was aimed.

According to police records, Reyes acted as the getaway driver in this shooting. Just eight days later, however, Reyes was alleged to be involved in another shooting, this time, acting as the gunman, and with Sanchez as the driver. The shots reportedly fired from Reyes’ rifle left the victim paralyzed from the neck down.

Reyes was arrested for the latter incident, and booked into Madera County Jail on June 27, 2015.

The suspected gunman in the death of Hernandez, Kevin Rendon, was arrested on May 27, nearly a year after the shooting took place. Evidence also led detectives to charge Reyes with this shooting while he was in custody.

“It was a difficult case to solve — there weren’t a whole lot of witnesses available, at, or near the time of the incident,” Sheklanian said. “It took a lot of effort on behalf of the Detective Division, and the Special Investigations Unit here at the Madera Police Department, working the leads as they became available, to culminate in the identification of the suspects.”

Rendon, 20, is due to appear in court on Monday for a preliminary setting. Reyes and Sanchez have been ordered by Judge Dale J. Blea to return on Nov. 4 for sentencing.

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