Gang Member, Juvenile Detention Escapee on Trial for Murder


A teenaged gang member is on trial for stabbing a 23-year-old to death during a street fight in San Mateo County, CA.

Adrian Sedano, 18, is accused of the August 2008 stabbing murder of Ramon Buenrostro—just weeks after having escaped from Camp Glenwood, a low-security county juvenile probation facility. Although juvenile criminal records cannot be released, according to California law, most offenders at that facility are serving time for substance abuse, petty theft or low-level burglaries, rather than assault or battery convictions. According to authorities, Sedano had had several run-ins with the law before being sent to Camp Glenwood.

The fatal incident began when Sedano’s then-19-year-old girlfriend, Anabel Aguilar, got into an altercation with another young woman, Jackie Mendez, at a Redwood City 7-Eleven convenience store. Both girls gathered groups of friends and began searching the neighborhood for one another; when Mendez’s group arrived at Aguilar’s apartment, Sedano came outside holding an eight-inch knife. He was accompanied by several others, but according to prosecutors, no one else on either side of the altercation was armed.

The two young women began to fight again, and when Buenrostro attempted to break them up, he was attacked by two other men, including Sedano’s friend Christian Lopez, who was also charged in the crime.

Sedano then announced that he was a member of the gang called Nortenos, and punched Buenrostro. Their fight continued and moved down the street; just minutes later, the 23-year-old was found by friends bleeding on the sidewalk. He was dead within the hour. Sedano was arrested a few hours later in his apartment.

Sedano is charged with one count of murder and one count of engaging in felony criminal activity in furtherance of a street gang. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in December 2009, after a competency hearing determined that he was competent to stand trial.

Lopez, who had initially been charged with murder, later pleaded no contest to assault with a deadly weapon—he had used a metal object to hit Buenrostro—and released on his own recognizance until his sentencing in July. Lopez faces a maximum of four years in prison.

In the Sedano trial, Judge Barbara Mallach ruled that the teen’s escape from Camp Glenwood could not be presented during the prosecution’s case, although it might be allowed if Sedano testifies. His arrest touched off a civil grand jury report, a temporary freeze on sending juvenile offenders to the remote, dorm-style facility, and tighter screening of those who are sent there in the future.

Sedano faces 27 years to life in prison if he is convicted on both counts.


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