Trial Starts In Santa Paula Party Bus Shooting

Sunday July 8, 2018

     Jury selection is underway in the trial of a Santa Paula man charged in connection with a gang-related shooting incident at a party bus almost three years ago that left several people wounded.

     Prosecutors say in the early morning hours of July 18, 2015, a party bus was letting passengers off in the area of Ojai Road and High Street in Santa Paula when there was a confrontation and then gunfire.

     Five males between the ages of 20 and 35 were wounded, at least one of them critically.

     Police later determined that one of the men believed to be a victim was actually, allegedly, a suspected shooter.

     Erick Medrano, now 25 years old, was arrested a charged with attempted murder in what the authorities say was a gang-related crime.

     His trial is now in the jury selection phase.

     His co-defendant, now 26-year-old Karina Munoz of Santa Paula, had been on trial with Medrano but decided to plead guilty to the lesser charge of assault with a firearm with street terrorism and great bodily injury enhancements.

     She remains in jail without bail and will be sentenced next month.

     Medrano, who has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges, and denies the special allegations, remains in jail with bail set at $1.3 million.