The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County District Attorney:
A Mendocino County Superior Court jury completed what appears to have been very efficient deliberations by returning a guilty verdict against the trial defendant Tuesday afternoon in less than an hour.
Defendant Fabian Sanchez, age 21, of the Fort Bragg area, was convicted of felony vandalism of the red-colored “Buddy Bench” on the playground at Redwood Elementary School, causing damage and expense to the school district greater than $1,000.
Admittedly not the sole bad actor on the night in question, the defendant under cover of darkness acted in concert with at least two others in committing the crime. The other vandals, however, could not be identified beyond a reasonable doubt from the surveillance footage.
Defendant Sanchez is a documented Sureno gang member who has the street gang moniker of “Playboy.”
Sureno gang members identify with the color blue and have been known to engage in random acts of violence when they come across the color red, the color identified with the rival Norteno criminal street gang.
After the jury was excused, the defendant’s case was referred to the Adult Probation Department for a social study and sentencing recommendation, as required by law.
The defendant was ordered to return to court on April 28, 2022 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department A of the Ukiah courthouse for imposition of sentence.
The law enforcement agency that investigated the crime was the Fort Bragg Police Department.
The attorney who presented the People’s evidence to the jury was Josh Rosenfeld, the senior of DA Eyster’s two coastal prosecutors assigned to the DA’s Fort Bragg office.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over the two-day trial, and will be the sentencing judge on April 28th.