RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - An 18-year-old man was convicted Friday of gunning down a couple in their Wake County home in 2013 because he mistakenly thought a rival gang member lived there.
Local media outlets report a jury found Jonathan Santillan guilty Friday of two counts of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, first-degree burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, and possessing a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
Prosecutors say Jose and Maria Mendoza were home with their 3-year-old son on Jan. 5, 2013, when two masked teens kicked in their padlocked door and opened fire. Jose Mendoza was shot 16 times in the head and torso. His wife was shot seven times in the torso and legs. Both were 34 years old. Their child was not injured.
Their other son, then 12 years old, was staying at a relative’s house that night.
Authorities said the intended target of the shooting had lived in the Garner home before the Mendozas moved there.
The sentencing phase will be next week. Santillan can’t face the death penalty because he was 15 at the time.
Santillan’s uncle, who was 16 at the time, also faces murder charges.
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