Youth re-sentenced to 16 years for 2008 shooting

East Palo Alto gang member receives only a 4-year reduction from his original sentence

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.


Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 16, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Time to hang these people up give him life sentence

Like this comment
Posted by Old Palo Alto
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 16, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Putting a 16 year old boy in prison for 16 years for a moment of bad judgement is ridiculous. When he gets out, he will be a hardened criminal and more of a menace to society. Great job DOC.

Like this comment
Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Have you placed the bar so low eastpaloalto of Midtown that you actually believe that this thug deserves a lesser sentence? Seriously? A confirmed gang member who attempted to kill someone with a firearm is somehow virtuous compared to a rapist in your opinion. Here's a dose of reality. The rapist and sex offender deserves a lengthy prison term and so does this gang member and thug. It's not the system's fault, or Bob's fault, or anyone elses fault. The responsibility lies solely with the convicted criminal.

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Posted by Phil
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 16, 2012 at 9:29 pm

And Old Palo Alto, this was not just a case of a "moment of bad judgment" as you put it. One does not become affiliated and confirmed as a violent gang member by simply having a momentary lapse of judgment. Get real already. His was convicted and sentenced based on his actions and the life that he CHOSE to lead. He could have easily killed the victim in this case, as well as putting many other innocent people in danger. He got what he deserved. The majority of gang members enter into that lifestyle as young as 11-12 years of age. By the time they are in their mid-teens they are already hardened criminals. Everyone is better off and safer with people like this off the street.

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Posted by Get Real... Its Time
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 18, 2012 at 11:42 am

Honestly... honestly. Violent crimes where there is absolutely no question of guilt (ie. multiple visual witnesses) that do not involve lapse of judgement due to alcohol or drugs should result in execution IF the criminal does not show any signs of rehabilitation after their first two years of incarceration. These executions should also not be allowed to have an appeal (to negate the argument that it costs more to execute than house a prisoner for life). Its time we REALLY start moving towards a safer society. Those of us who are hardwired for peace, or choose to act peacefully, should not have to worry about violent criminals in our midst OR waste OUR taxpayer dollars to either permanently house and feed them or pay their legal fees for completely bogus appeals processes.

Like this comment
Posted by A neighbor who cares...
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Sadly to say but this is the new EPA. Kids killing other kids for the stupidest reasons. So you punk each other, but then you go n bring back your gun? You are you showing off to? Your "friends"... Does that makes sense? When will these friends be when you get out of jail? Will they even remember you? Please this message is to all the youth. Think real good before you make the next move. It will follow you for the rest of your life. Do you want to spend the rest of your young beautiful life in a small room with the worry of thinking, will I be alive tomorrow?

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