Suspect convicted for killing innocent, injuring gang member

Nov. 5 is sentencing date

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A Kern County jury convicted Jose Rodriguez of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Santos Balleza and the attempted murder of Michael Ramirez on Friday, Oct. 5.

On May 13, 2010, defendant Jose Rodriguez became engaged in a verbal confrontation with a rival gang member in McFarland. Rodriguez removed a firearm and shot seven times into a crowd of people, killing Balleza and injuring Ramirez.

Balleza died from the gunshot wound on the way to Kern Medical Center. 

Defendant Rodriguz was a member of the South Side Criminals, a Delano based criminal street gang.

Rodriguez's sentencing date is set for Nov. 5. He is facing the potential of 90 years to life in prison.

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