An East Palo Alto youth who received a 20-year state prison sentence for a 2008 shooting will only receive a 4-year reduction in his prison time and will serve 16 years, a judge ruled during a re-sentencing hearing on Friday, July 13.
Eric Jovan Zamora was 16 years old when he was arrested for shooting his cousin's boyfriend at a family party on Euclid Avenue in East Palo Alto on Aug. 29, 2008.
Zamora, a Sureno gang member, challenged the boyfriend, who was a former member of the Norteno gang. But the boyfriend told Zamora that he was no longer in a gang and was "family" now through marriage, according to court papers.
Zamora did not accept the victim's peacemaking effort and instead returned with a gun. As the victim fled, Zamora shot him several times in the back of the legs. The victim was hospitalized but was released after several hours with non-life-threatening injuries.
A jury convicted Zamora on Sept. 10, 2009, of felony assault with a firearm, committing a felony gang crime and associated allegations that added time to his sentence. He was found "not guilty" of attempted murder.
Zamora faced up to 27 years in prison, but in January 2010, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Joseph Bergeron sentenced Zamora to state prison for 20 years with 584 days credit for time served, registration as a gang offender and restitution of $9,481.57.
Bergeron said at the time that he did not like sending a juvenile to prison for such a long period, but the facts of the crime and the defendant's attitude warranted the long sentence.
The sentence was reversed on appeal and was returned to Bergeron for re-sentencing. The court re-sentenced Zamora to state prison for 16 years with the usual fines and fees, restitution to the victim of $12,160.53, genetic-marker testing and registration as a gang member.