MODESTO, Calif. — A 13-year-old boy was found guilty in the 2021 slaying of a taco truck owner in Modesto.
On Thursday, Stanislaus County Deputy District Attorney Jon Appleby prosecuted the teen's case in juvenile court.
On Feb. 16, 2021, the teenager, who is being referred to as R.K. in court, walked up to the Dona Sole Comida Mexicana food truck near Monterey Avenue in Modesto and shot and killed 67-year-old Rafael Avila-Rodriguez, the owner of the food truck. The teen fled from the scene, but was later arrested and booked into Juvenile Hall shortly after midnight on February 17, 2021.
The teenager could not be prosecuted under California Law as he was only 13-years-old at the time of the killing.
According to Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager, "a petition was filed in Juvenile Court alleging R.K had committed first degree premediated murder along with an enhancement for personally using a firearm." During a jurisdictional trial on April 14, 2022, Judge Ruben Villalobos found the teen guilty in the slaying of Avila-Rodriguez.
According to the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office, the maximum period of time that the teen could have been incarcerated in connection with Avila-Rodriguez's slaying was until his 25th birthday in 2032.
The teen's next court hearing is on August 24, 2022.
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