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Jessop Murder Suspects Face New Charges

By Craig Koscho

Monday, May 16, 2005 10:02 AM CDT

Accused murderers Donald Maurice Pinon and Daniel Maurice-Lessiue Rocha may face additional charges that could add even more time to their sentence if found guilty.

Pinon, 20, and Rocha, 19, are charged with first-degree murder in the March 16 shooting death of 19-year-old David Jessop at his Mokelumne Hill home.

The defendants´ preliminary hearing, a proceeding to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial, was postponed Tuesday to 10 a.m., May 18, at the request of Deputy District Attorneys Seth Matthews and Barbara Yook.

Matthews said the District Attorney´s Office was preparing to add a “gang enhancement” to each suspect´s charges.

Matthews would not elaborate on the pending allegations, telling the court that his office had potential evidence to add the enhancement during the preliminary hearing and wanted to give defense attorneys fair notice.

According to the “California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act,” anyone who commits a felony in association with a criminal street gang faces additional time, possibly up to 15 years.

Both suspects presently face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Rocha also faces additional time on charges of trying to bribe a county jail guard in an attempt to escape custody and of brandishing a weapon.

Jessop´s body was found by one of his roommates at the home in the 8500 block of Center Street. He had been shot once in the head.

A deputy´s report states each suspect accuses the other of pulling the trigger.

Authorities have stated that Jessop was in the wrong place at the wrong time as Pinon and Rocha broke into the house to search one of his roommate´s rooms for drugs and money.

The small Department 2 courtroom was packed Tuesday with about 30 people, most of them relatives and friends of Jessop.

The May 18 hearing is scheduled for the county´s Supervisors Chambers, a larger facility that serves as a courtroom on most days.

Contact Craig Koscho at ckoscho@calaverasenterprise.com.

Jessop murder suspects face new charges

By Craig Koscho

Monday, May 16, 2005 10:02 AM CDT

Accused murderers Donald Maurice Pinon and Daniel Maurice-Lessiue Rocha may face additional charges that could add even more time to their sentence if found guilty.

Pinon, 20, and Rocha, 19, are charged with first-degree murder in the March 16 shooting death of 19-year-old David Jessop at his Mokelumne Hill home.

The defendants´ preliminary hearing, a proceeding to determine if there is enough evidence for a trial, was postponed Tuesday to 10 a.m., May 18, at the request of Deputy District Attorneys Seth Matthews and Barbara Yook.

Matthews said the District Attorney´s Office was preparing to add a “gang enhancement” to each suspect´s charges.

Matthews would not elaborate on the pending allegations, telling the court that his office had potential evidence to add the enhancement during the preliminary hearing and wanted to give defense attorneys fair notice.

According to the “California Street Terrorism Enforcement and Prevention Act,” anyone who commits a felony in association with a criminal street gang faces additional time, possibly up to 15 years.

Both suspects presently face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Rocha also faces additional time on charges of trying to bribe a county jail guard in an attempt to escape custody and of brandishing a weapon.

Jessop´s body was found by one of his roommates at the home in the 8500 block of Center Street. He had been shot once in the head.

A deputy´s report states each suspect accuses the other of pulling the trigger.

Authorities have stated that Jessop was in the wrong place at the wrong time as Pinon and Rocha broke into the house to search one of his roommate´s rooms for drugs and money.

The small Department 2 courtroom was packed Tuesday with about 30 people, most of them relatives and friends of Jessop.

The May 18 hearing is scheduled for the county´s Supervisors Chambers, a larger facility that serves as a courtroom on most days.

Contact Craig Koscho at ckoscho@calaverasenterprise.com.

Reprinted with permission from The Calaveras Enterprise