FROM:
Karyn Sinunu, Chief Assistant District Attorney

CONTACT PERSON:
David Ezgar, Deputy District Attorney
Gang Prosecution Unit
(408) 792-2534

For release on August 3, 2005

GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF WITNESS INTIMIDATION ARISING OUT OF OLINDER PARK MURDER CASE

On August 3, 2005, a Santa Clara County jury convicted Francisco Duran, a member of Varrio Meadow Fair criminal street gang, of two counts of witness intimidation, one count of possession of drugs for sale and one count of assault with a firearm.

On July 18, 2003, a witness in the Olinder Park 2003 murder of Christian Jimenez was threatened by Duran in an effort to prevent the witness from testifying. Duran threatened to kill the witness for speaking to the police. He also threatened to kill Alexander Diaz, the convicted killer of Chirstian Jimenez, because Duran believed Diaz was naming other gang members as being involved in the murder. Witness intimidation for the benefit of a criminal street gang is punishable by life imprisonment. Duran will be sentenced on October 3, 2005.

Alexander Diaz pleaded guilty to the murder of Christian Jimenez on July 15, 2003, and was sentenced to eighty years to life. Five other defendants are currently awaiting trial on murder charges for their roles in the murder.

Duran is the second person to be convicted for efforts to intimidate witnesses in the Olinder Park murder case.

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