Crime - Sacto 911

Gang members convicted of killing man who said he wasn’t scared of them

Jurors convicted two Norteño gang members of murder and conspiracy after they killed a man who told them he was unafraid of them, which they saw as a sign of disrespect, prosecutors said in a news release Thursday.

The Sacramento Superior Court jury found Hector Caballero, 20, guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy and convicted Damian Flores, 25, of second-degree murder and conspiracy. The jurors also found gun and gang allegations true for both defendants, the Sacramento District Attorney’s Office said in the release.

Caballero and Flores walked into an area occupied by rival Sureño gang members on Nov. 23, 2013, and confronted Ricardo Guerro, it said. When they asked if he was a Sureño, Guerro said he was not a gang member and was not intimidated by them, prosecutors said. Perceiving his response as disrespectful, Caballero fatally shot Guerro.

In jail, both suspects tried to send notes to fellow gang members directing them to threaten witnesses, the news release said.

Caballero had two prior convictions for gang-related felony assaults, the district attorney’s office said. Flores had a prior strike for felony assault with a firearm. Each faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole when they return to court Nov. 5 before Judge Curtis Fiorini.

Hudson Sangree: 916-321-1191, @hudson_sangree