Alleged driver in fatal shooting heads to court

While an investigation continues into the escape of a suspected killer from a county juvenile hall, his alleged accomplice in the 3-year-old murder is set for trial Thursday, prosecutors said.

Josue Orozco, 17, and his accomplice, Faustino Ayala, 23, are charged with murdering rival gang member Francisco Rodriguez, 21, in Redwood City on July 12, 2005. Orozco is accused of shooting Rodriguez dead, and Ayala of driving the getaway car, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

The two had been brought into custody shortly after the crime and were awaiting a joint trial until Orozco — the youngest person ever to be charged as an adult in San Mateo County — escaped the county’s Youth Detention Center on Feb. 14, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

“The trial should last less than four weeks,” said Karen Guidotti, assistant district attorney for San Mateo County.

Meanwhile, Orozco remains at large. He could be hiding out in the Central Valley, awaiting an opportune moment to cross into Mexico, authorities say.

His escape rattled the San Mateo hillside community where the juvenile-detention facility is located and prompted an investigation into its security.

A report by San Mateo County’s chief probation officer said a supervisor left Orozco and two teens unattended as they played basketball just before the escape.

The teens, 18-year-olds Martin Villa Patino and Vanher Cho, allegedly boosted Orozco over a 15-foot wall. Orozco then fled through a hole in the outer fence thought to be cut by someone outside the facility, authorities said.

A separate, independent investigation into the security lapse is nearing completion and should be released in the next few weeks, said David Boesch, assistant county manager.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading was among the highlights of Inauguration Day. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Inauguration shines light in this never-ending shade

Here’s to renewal and resolve in 2021 and beyond

Lowell High School is considered an academically elite public school. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Students denounce ‘rampant, unchecked racism’ at Lowell after slurs flood anti-racism lesson

A lesson on anti-racism at Lowell High School on Wednesday was bombarded… Continue reading

Most Read