|A San Mateo County Superior Court jury found a Fresno man guilty today of masterminding a plot to have a former female employee of his Menlo Park store kidnapped and murdered for resisting his romantic advances.
In a retrial on a conspiracy to commit murder charge, Ricardo Zambrano, 38, was found guilty this morning for the June 10, 2005, kidnapping by gunpoint of a woman who had worked for him at his jewelry store inside the Mi Rancho market in Menlo Park.
On April 13, a separate San Mateo County jury found Zambrano guilty of conspiracy to commit rape, kidnapping for the purpose of rape, kidnapping in the commission of a carjacking, threatening a witness and false imprisonment, but were deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of a conspiracy to commit murder charge.
Zambrano was retried on the conspiracy to murder charge, and after eight days of trial, the second jury began deliberating Thursday.
The kidnapping was carried out by another man hired by Zambrano, Alfonzo Cuevas Gonzalez, 40, also of Fresno, who was convicted by a separate jury in March of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit rape, kidnapping and felony threats. Gonzalez was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison June 8.
The victim, a woman in her 20s from Mexico, was carjacked and driven to Fresno, but the plot dissolved when Gonzalez couldn't find his accomplices. She eventually escaped with the help of a Fresno woman who had foreknowledge of the plan.
Zambrano could receive a sentence of up to life in prison, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.
— Bay City News Service
Are you receiving Express, our free daily e-mail edition? See a sample and sign-up for Express.