Crime - Sacto 911

Yuba City man arrested in deadly Highway 70 shooting had gang conviction, court records show

Vivion Wallace, 21, of Yuba City.
Vivion Wallace, 21, of Yuba City.

Two of the three men arrested Thursday in connection with the fatal car-to-car shooting of a Sacramento man last week had prior convictions for violent crimes in Yuba and Sutter counties, including one charge of criminal street gang participation, court records show.

Avery Elijah Sanchez, 20, of Sacramento, and Vivion DeAndre Wallace, 21, of Yuba City, face charges of murder after they were arrested by Yuba County sheriff’s deputies Thursday in connection with the shooting death of 36-year-old Alejandro Escobar of Sacramento.

Inmate booking logs show Wallace faces a charge of parole violation. A third suspect, 19-year-old Juan Barajas of Citrus Heights, believed to be the driver of the suspect vehicle, was arrested Thursday evening as an accomplice, police said.

Escobar and one other passenger were shot about 6 p.m. May 22 as they were driving southbound on Highway 70 from Chico to Sacramento, authorities said. Escobar was pronounced dead at the scene, the second passenger survived, and the driver of the victim vehicle was uninjured.

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Just a few weeks earlier in late April, Wallace was convicted for parole violation in Sutter County, where he was sentenced in 2016 to two years in prison for possession of an assault weapon.

Yuba County Superior Court records show Wallace was also sentenced in 2016 to felony counts of second-degree robbery and for being a criminal street gang participant. He pleaded no contest to both and was sentenced that December to two years in prison, concurrent with the Sutter County sentence.

Sanchez was charged in September 2016 with felony assault with a deadly weapon and robbery in concert with two or more persons, and in 2017 he was placed on probation, Yuba County court records show.

The Yuba County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release Friday that the victims were unknown to the suspects and that the two parties had an argument earlier that day in Marysville.

Sanchez and Wallace were located in Linda with help of surveillance footage and arrested Thursday morning, according to a news release by the Yuba County Sheriff’s Department. They were booked into Yuba County jail on suspicion of murder.

Barajas was located Thursday in Citrus Heights with the suspect vehicle, authorities said.

No criminal record was found online for any of the three suspects in Sacramento or Butte counties, where Friday’s news release indicates they had been spotted in surveillance video.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.
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