Rival gang activity may be to blame in death of Gilroy teen.
A Morgan Hill man pleaded not guilty this week in the shooting death of a Gilroy teen.
Anthony J. Frausto, 18 is charged with the murder of Luis Bautista, 19, who was shot four times the night of Sept. 30 as he fled from a group of suspected Norteño gang members behind the Safeway grocery store in the Tennant Station shopping center. He died from his wounds later that night.
Morgan Hill Police believe there is a link between the shooting and earlier gang activities, including an incident in late August involving a knife attack on two 15-year-old boys and an incident in September when a teen attacked a 20-year-old man and tried to take his shoes, then attacked another man who had come to his assistance.
Police believe Bautista, who had moved to the area from Mexico less than a year before the shooting, was a member of the Sureño gang. Sureño gang members are immigrants. Norteños are native born residents of Hispanic origin.
Frausto, whom police believe is a Norteño member, was arrested Oct. 2. He told detectives he “came in to clear his name” after hearing police wanted him for questioning.
Frausto’s attorney, Andrew Tursi, declined to make a statement to The Times, but said he has many videotapes to view and witness statements to get through before he is prepared for trial. He did say that a date for a preliminary hearing will likely be set when Frausto is in court on Dec. 13.
During a preliminary hearing, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Shapero will determine if there is enough evidence for a case to proceed to trial.
The Times has received numerous anonymous calls suggesting that Frausto is innocent, that he is “taking the fall” for another gang member. MHPD Cmdr. Joe Sampson said if callers had passed on their information to police, that would have been another angle for detectives to investigate.
Tursi said he is considering all information brought to him.
Bautista was flown by helicopter to Regional Medical Center in San Jose after a witness drove him to Saint Louise Medical Center.