Former jewelry shop proprietor convicted

A former Menlo Park jewelry store owner faces life in prison after a jury convicted him Friday of plotting to have an employee kidnapped, raped and killed because she rejected his advances.

A Jan. 30 sentencing will conclude Ricardo Zambrano’s second trial. On March 15 of last year, a jury convicted him of conspiracy to rape, kidnapping, kidnapping during a carjacking and felony threats, but deadlocked on conspiracy to commit murder.

On Friday, a second jury found Zambrano guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, which carries a sentence of 35 years to life in prison, said Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Prosecutors said Zambrano hired a Fresno man, Alfonzo Gonzales, to kidnap an employee of Zambrano’s at a small jewelry store inside Mi Rancho Market in Menlo Park.

Gonzales kidnapped the woman at gunpoint and drove her to a home in Fresno where she was to be raped and killed, Wagstaffe said. Once at the home, however, the Fresno home’s residents called police and the woman escaped harm.

Gonzales was later sentenced to 35 years to life for his role in the crime.

Wagstaffe called Zambrano “extremely dangerous” and said prosecutors worriedthat he would have witnesses killed to prevent them from testifying.

“He is willing to do anything to avoid being held accountable, including killing of witnesses,” he said. “He is a dramatic danger to the community.”

During the trial, Zambrano’s attorney Chris Morales argued that the witnesses were unreliable and that Gonzales bore sole responsibility.

Wagstaffe said prosecutors were pleased with the outcome.

“This time, we finally got him,” he said.

tbarak@examiner.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

Gov. Gavin Newsom, show here speaking at the City College of San Francisco mass vaccination site in April, faces a recall election due to anger on the right over his handling of the pandemic, among other issues. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Why Gavin Newsom’s popularity could work against him in the recall election

Top pollster: ‘We’re not seeing the Democrats engaged in this election. And that may be a problem…’

Passengers ride the 14-Mission Muni bus on Friday, March 12, 2021. (Jordi Molina/Special to S.F. Examiner)
Transit officials fear Free Muni pilot could hurt already-strained service levels

Supporters say fare cuts could increase ridership, help low-income residents

The vacant property at 730 Stanyan St. in the Haight currently houses a safe sleeping site for the homeless. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Affordable housing project on former McDonald’s site delayed as city adds units

The start of construction on an affordable housing project on the site… Continue reading

Visitors read a notice hanging on the Polk Street entrance to City Hall on Thursday, March 26, 2020, shortly after the building was closed. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City Hall reopening to the public on June 7 after long closure due to COVID-19

San Francisco will reopen City Hall to the public on June 7… Continue reading

Historic streetcars are undergoing testing on The Embarcadero to prepare for their return to service on May 15.<ins></ins>
What to expect for Muni Metro’s relaunch on May 15

Significant service restoration includes downtown subway tunnels and historic streetcars

Most Read