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Rocha Found Guilty Of First Degree Murder

San Andreas, CA — Guilty as charged … that was the verdict of a Calaveras County jury Wednesday afternoon in the Daniel Rocha case.

The San Andreas jury of four men and eight women found the 22 year old Rocha guilty of first-degree murder for the shooting death of 19 year old David Jessup of Mokelumne Hill. It only took the jury and hour and 45 minutes to return to the courtroom with that decision.

Deputy District Attorney Seth Matthews stated that Rocha could face a sentence of 50 years to life because of gang enhancement and weapons charges. He is scheduled to be sentenced November 28.

Jessup was shot to death while he was asleep in his own bed March 16, 2005. The jury also found Rocha guilty of attempting to bribe a jailer in addition to being a felon in possession of a weapon.

According to testimony, Rocha was affiliated with the Valley Springs Home Boys, an affiliate of the Nortenos gang based out of Pelican Bay State Prison. The Nortenos (red is their color) are also known as La Familia Nuesta.

Rocha´s alleged partner in the muder, 23 year old Donald Pinon, has also been charged with murder. A date for his trial may be determined September 24. Matthews says he will probably represent the District Attorney´s office in that case also.

Written by Bill Johnson