Santa Paula Times

SP gang member gets life in prison without parole for Flores slaying

October 11, 2013
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly

Santa Paula Times 

A Santa Paula native was sentenced to life in prison without parole more than six years after he gunned down an area man in a crime prosecutors said was tied to gangs.

Paul Carrillo, 25, was sentenced October 3 after being found guilty last month of murdering 27-year-old Edgar Flores. 

Prosecutors said Carrillo shot Flores six times in front of the victim’s home - located in an unincorporated area just east of Santa Paula - on Aug. 24, 2007.

Prosecutors claimed that the unprovoked attack stemmed from Carrillo’s desire to make a name for himself in the Bad Boyz gang community.

Flores was described by the court as a “good man” who was shot after he asked Carrillo and his companions what they were doing driving back and forth in front of his residence. Witnesses told police that after Flores was shot Carrillo yelled a gang name as the truck sped away.

Carrillo was also ordered by the court to pay restitution and fines.

In addition to the murder charge, jurors last month found Carrillo guilty of special enhancements including discharging a firearm, killing while participating in a street gang, street terrorism and intentional murder by discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle.

Prosecutors said before his incarceration Carrillo was a resident of Ventura who planned the killing where he shot Flores while riding in the back seat of a truck.

It was the second trial for Carrillo. The first ended in a mistrial.

A co-defendant in the case, Manuel Rodriguez, 26, of Santa Paula, Carrillo’s cousin, was previously acquitted and the case against the alleged driver and owner of the truck, Miguel Gonzalez, is pending. 

In 2009 Gonzalez agreed to plead guilty to voluntary manslaughter and carrying a loaded weapon and in exchange for his testimony against the other two defendants was facing a 22-year sentence. 

But in September 2012 a mistrial was declared after new information surfaced about Gonzalez’s credibility on the witness stand. Prosecutors then filed a motion to rescind their deal with Gonzalez.

Gonzalez is supposed to appear again in court October 10.

The trial was beset with mishaps and legal actions: last year Carrillo’s mother came to blows with a female potential juror in an altercation that started over courtroom seating.