Jury selection begins in Dos Palos homicide case

Jury selection began Tuesday in the trial of a teenage suspected gang member from Dos Palos accused of killing another teen last year.

Ryan O. Suarez, 16, has pleaded not guilty in connection with the June 23, 2013, shooting death of 15-year-old John Carlos Cordero-Juarez at a park on Reynolds Avenue in South Dos Palos.

Suarez was charged as an adult because of the serious nature of the case, the Merced County District Attorney’s Office said.

No statements or testimony was heard Tuesday as jury selection took the full day before Judge Ronald W. Hansen in Merced Superior Court.

Suarez faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life if convicted.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Department said the shooting occurred in a park after an altercation between rival gang members.