FAIRFIELD — It only took a few hours of deliberations before a jury came back with guilty verdicts to murder and related charges Monday for a Fairfield gang member.
The verdicts will mean 20-year-old Miguel “Cavemen” Bastida is almost certain to spend the rest of his life in prison without possibility of parole.
Bastida joined a fellow gang member in the mugging of a rival gang member who was making his way home on foot along Hayes Street after a day of heavy drinking on the night of Feb. 1, 2012. Bastida and Mario Vasquez approached 20-year-old Jesus “Jessie” Amaya and tried to rob him before Amaya tried to run away.
He was shot in the back of the head and died a few moments later.
Bastida was found guilty of murder committed during the course of an armed robbery done to benefit a criminal street gang.
Bastida did not testify during his weeklong trial, but jurors heard plenty from Bastida because prosecutors showed jurors videotapes of police interrogations of Bastida and his brother. Jurors also heard audio recordings of Bastida talking about the robbery and shooting with his mother during jailhouse phone calls.
It took a few weeks after the murder for police to identify the suspects, who were named by other gang members who police rounded up and interviewed after the murder.
Bastida repeatedly emphasized how he was not the gunman – that it was Vasquez who shot and killed Amaya.
Authorities have not tracked down Vasquez, who they believe may have fled to Mexico shortly after the shooting.
Judge James F. Moelk ordered Bastida to return to court Sept. 17 for sentencing.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.