A Solano County Superior Court judge again has reset proceedings in the case of a 23-year-old suspected Vallejo street gang member accused of first-degree murder in 2015 in Vallejo.
Jose Alberto Gonzalez was scheduled to appear Monday in Department 15 for a readiness conference and trial setting, but Judge Robert Bowers ordered him to return for the same proceedings at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Justice Building in Vallejo.
Gonzalez had, at one point, been scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing but those proceedings do not appear to be in effect, according to court records in the case. He is represented by criminal defense attorney Laura Petty.
Gonzalez was a juvenile when he and three others believed to be members of the Brown Brotherhood, a subset of the Sureno criminal street gang, were loitering under a bridge in an area rife with gang-related graffiti on Aug. 13, 2015.
The victim, James Souza, 46, was walking along train tracks underneath the bridge when he was allegedly confronted by Gonzalez and another suspected gang member, according to the Solano County District Attorney. Gonzalez and a co-defendant reportedly were armed with handguns.
During the confrontation, Gonzalez reportedly asked Souza, “Do you bang?” Moments later, Gonzalez and the co-defendant allegedly fired their weapons at the victim, striking him at least nine times. Souza died at the scene.
Vallejo police officers arrested Gonzalez two months later. He was booked into Solano County Jail, with bail set at $5 million. He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, gun and gang-related charges.
His co-defendant, Audel Gomez, who apparently has pleaded to a felony related to the case, faces a motion, settin, and sentencing at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, also in Department 15. He is represented by attorney Leslie Prince.
Charges against Enrique Hector Pearce, initially another co-defendant, were dismissed on July 17, 2017. Information about a third co-defendant, Marcos Gutierrez Casas, was not available.
In May 2018, a Solano County Superior Court judge ruled that Gonzalez’s case would be transferred from juvenile to adult criminal court.
If found guilty of all the charges, Gonzalez may be sentenced to as much as 60 years to life in state prison.