The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office:
A familiar face received additional state prison time Friday morning in the Mendocino County Superior Court to close out calendar year 2022.
Defendant Edgar Fidel Contreras, now 32 years of age, was previously sentenced in 2017 to state prison for 25 years to life for his 2015 involvement in a botched armed nighttime marijuana garden rip-off in the Yorkville area.
But unfortunately that was not the end of the story for Contreras in Mendocino County.
At his request, Contreras was returned to Mendocino County in 2020 for court proceedings so he could attempt to have his murder conviction thrown out due to changes in California law.
While this legal maneuver ultimately failed, Contreras could not find it in himself to stay out of trouble during his visit to and stay in the Low Gap Jail facility.
In March 2020, during an unprovoked attack, Contreras came up from behind and hit another jail inmate watching TV in the face and head multiple times with closed fists. When the victim fell to the floor, Contreras continued his attack by repeatedly kicking the victim while he was down.
While Contreras later denied to investigators that he had hit the victim, the jail’s surveillance system clearly showed this denial to be a lie.
The investigation into that 2020 case was ongoing because others were also involved. Meanwhile, Contreras returned to the Department of Corrections to continue serving his murder sentence.
Charged by the DA in early 2021 with a felony assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, along with Contreras’ prior Strike conviction (the murder), an arrest warrant was issued for Contreras.
Likely due to the pandemic, Contreras was not pulled from prison and returned to Mendocino County to face the new charge until July 2022.
Having entered a no contest plea to the felony charge and admitted the Strike enhancement in early December, Contreras was sentenced Friday morning to 48 months in state prison, said sentence to run consecutive to the 2017 lifer sentence.
The attorney who prosecuted the defendant in the new case was Senior Deputy District Attorney Luke Oakley. The attorney who prosecuted the 2015 murder case was District Attorney Eyster.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over today’s sentencing hearing.