Attorneys and investigators are poring over video and other evidence from the fatal fight at a downtown Davis bar in September that ended the life of a Los Angeles-area man, pushing a preliminary hearing planned for Monday in Yolo Superior Court to Dec. 2
A wide-ranging investigation continues in the Sept. 19 stabbing death of college student Peter Alexander Gonzales, prosecuting Yolo County Deputy District Attorney Garrett Hamilton said at a hearing Monday before retired Yolo Superior Court Judge Stephen Mock.
Gonzales, 23, of Hacienda Heights, was killed at the popular restaurant and nightclub KetMoRee on G Street in downtown Davis.
Carlos Biviescas, Martyn Contreras, Anthony Rivera, Zackary Sandeno and Victor Vergara, the five men held on suspicion of murder in Gonzales’ killing, were led single-file into the courtroom to their attorneys as bailiffs posted at the edge of the jury box. The five, also accused of committing the crime in service to a criminal street gang, listened as Hamilton spoke of more investigation to come, including what he called a “documented, detailed look” at roughly three hours of KetMoRee surveillance video.
Prosecutors turned over a large quantity of evidence Friday and expect more evidence of the group’s purported gang ties to come in from Vacaville authorities, Hamilton said. Meanwhile, Hamilton said he is also seeking the men’s juvenile court records.
Gonzales, who would have turned 24 this month, worked with children with special needs in his Los Angeles-area community and was a student at California State University, Dominguez Hills, in Carson, his parents said. Gonzales’ death led Davis city leaders to impose a temporary moratorium on new restaurants and nightclubs with the intent of bringing civic leaders, nightlife businesses, law enforcement and the larger community together to discuss steps to promote safety.
“The murder was a shock to our collective system,” Davis City Manager Dirk Brazil said last week. “We really need to think about what we want our downtown to be.”
Davis city staff members cited police data that show five restaurants serving liquor on G Street between First and Third streets have had a combined 74 police incidents from Jan. 1 to Sept. 20, including Gonzales’ death Sept. 19.
The City Council, in a divided 3-2 vote against the recommendation of city staff, granted an exemption last week to Blondies New York Pizza Co., which is seeking to open a sports bar in the former Little Prague Restaurant space a block north of KetMoRee.
The exemption comes with numerous conditions related to security and other issues. Those include screenings and bag inspections after 10 p.m.; contracting with Davis police or a licensed armed security provider; instituting a dress code; and imposing an early 10 p.m. closing time during UC Davis Picnic Day.