Peninsula teen charged with murder pleads not guilty

REDWOOD CITY: 17-YEAR-OLD CHARGED WITH MURDER FACES UP
TO LIFE IN PRISON

   
A 17-year-old boy charged as an adult for allegedly fatally shooting another teenager at a party in unincorporated Redwood City early Saturday morning has pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court, a chief deputy district attorney said.

Ricardo Garcia is charged with one count of murder with a firearm with gang allegations as well as the special circumstances charge the murder was for gang purposes, which makes him eligible to receive a life in prison sentence if convicted, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Garcia was at a party on Columbia Avenue near El Camino Real around 12:05 a.m. Saturday when he allegedly became involved in a heated argument with 17-year-old Solomone Zarate of Redwood City, Wagstaffe said.

Garcia allegedly took a handgun from his pocket and shot Zarate.

Wagstaffe said Garcia then stood over Zarate and shot him twice more.

Sheriff's deputies responded to reports of a loud noise in the area and found Zarate in the street suffering from gunshot wounds. He was transported to Stanford Hospital, where he died two hours later.

Wagstaffe said Garcia, allegedly a known Redwood City gang member, fled the scene and hid out in the area until Tuesday night, when he went with his attorney to the sheriff's office and turned himself in.

The teen appeared in court Thursday afternoon and pleaded not guilty to all charges. He is scheduled to return to court Sept. 29 at 1:30 p.m. to set a date for his preliminary hearing, Wagstaffe said.

Garcia remains in custody on no-bail status.

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