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Teens plead not guilty to attempted murder
January 03, 2013, 05:00 AM By Heather Murtagh Daily Journal Staff

Two reported Sureño gangmembers accused of firing several shots at a rival in Redwood City who previously beat one’s friend both pleaded not guilty yesterday to premeditated attempted murder.

Juan Garcia-Mungia, 19, of East Palo Alto, and Saul Vallejo, 16, of Redwood City, also pleaded not guilty to discharging a firearm and acting to benefit a street gang, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. A jury trial was set for April 2 with a pretrial date of March 5, said Wagstaffe.

A 16-year-old Redwood City boy arrested with the pair was not charged in the June 1 shooting. Vallejo and the unnamed teen reportedly went to Sequoia Station that day to meet Garcia-Mungia who worked at Panda Express.

The three, who prosecutors say were all Sureño gangmembers, drove around Redwood City until they saw a Norteño who had previously assaulted the 16-year-old standing with a friend near Lathrop and Maple streets.

Prosecutors say Garcia-Mungia, at approximately 4 p.m., stopped the car 10 feet from the crowd and Vallejo, seated in the back, pushed the passenger seat forward and leaned out the window to fire multiple times. Witnesses placed the number of shots between three and seven.

No one was hit by the shots and the suspects fled.

The following day, Redwood City police arrested the pair using a license plate number of the suspected vehicle to track them to a residence in the 200 block of Euclid Avenue in East Palo Alto. Police reported finding the firearm and said the three males admitted participating in the shooting.

Prosecutors opted not to charge the third passenger who neither shot nor drove because they did not feel it would be appropriate, Wagstaffe said previously.

Garcia-Mungia and Vallejo remain in custody without bail.

Heather Murtagh can be reached by email: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 105.

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