The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office:
Defendant Christopher Wayne Gamble, age 48, of Willits, returned to the Mendocino County Superior Court Thursday afternoon to hear the sentence he will be serving as punishment for murdering two men by means of death by firearm.
Even if he were so inclined, the law afforded the sentencing judge, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder, very little discretion as to the ultimate outcome and final sentence that could be ordered.
For the murder in the second degree of Mr. Andrade Ayala, defendant Gamble was sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison, the only sentencing option allowed by law for this crime.
Because the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a firearm to cause Mr. Andrade Ayala’s death, an additional 25 years to life was imposed, to run consecutive to the 15 years to life for the murder.
For the murder in the first degree of Mr. Ayala Rodriguez, the law required an LWOP sentence, meaning life in state prison without the possibility of parole.
The jury had found true a special circumstance in May alleging that defendant Gamble committed at least two murders, with at least one of the two being murder of the first degree. This finding requires an LWOP sentence.
Again, because the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a firearm to cause Mr. Ayala Rodriguez’s death, an additional 25 years to life was added to the defendant’s overall sentencing ledger.
Finally, the defendant was sentenced to the low term of 16 months — consecutive to the murder sentences — for his conviction for felony animal abuse involving hurting and killing roosters.
In total, defendant Gamble was sentenced to LWOP plus just a few months over 66 years in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence supporting the jury verdicts and findings entered in May were the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force, the Department of Justice crime laboratory, and the District Attorney’s own Bureau of Investigation.
Special thanks are again extended to the Department of Anthropology at Chico State for their forensic assistance in the investigation, as well as to the Ukiah Valley Fire Authority for their fire investigation assistance.
The prosecutor who prepared the People’s case against defendant Gamble and represented the District Attorney at today’s sentencing hearing was Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott McMenomey.