A 27-year-old man has been extradited to San Mateo County to face murder charges for a fatal 2011 shooting of a Menlo Park woman in East Palo Alto, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office said on Tuesday.
Christian Fuentes, formerly of East Palo Alto, was arraigned for his alleged role in the July 13, 2011 fatal shooting of Catherine (Cate) Fisher, 19, a college student and a Menlo Park gymnastics center instructor who, investigators say, wasn't the intended target of the shooting.
Around 2 a.m. that day, Fisher was sitting in a Chevrolet Tahoe parked near a driveway in the 2500 block of Annapolis Drive near University Avenue with a man and another woman, prosecutors said.
Three people, one of whom was later identified as Fuentes, allegedly pulled up next to them in another vehicle. Two of them got out of the vehicle and began firing a 9mm firearm and .40-caliber rounds at the Chevrolet. Investigators later determined the incident to be a "gang execution shooting," according to prosecutors.
Fisher was struck by the gunfire and was pronounced dead at Stanford Hospital. The two other occupants of the Chevrolet were not hit by the bullets, police said at the time.
The two alleged shooters left the scene for Colorado, where Fuentes took part in the murder of a rival gang member for which he was later convicted and sentenced to 84 years in prison, the District Attorney's Office said.
Fuentes was arraigned on charges of murder, attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, being a felon in possession of a firearm, driving or taking a vehicle without consent and driving a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license. He is being held without bail at the Maguire Correctional Facility in Redwood City.
The other two suspects (the driver and the second alleged shooter) are still at large, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The 27-year-old man faces a sentence of life without the possibility of parole and the death penalty for the 2011 shooting. He is scheduled to return to court on Sept. 28 for a plea hearing.
Read a July 2011 story about Fisher here.