Trial date moved for suspects in 2010 homicide, chase

Mi Ranchito Market was the first of two businesses robbed.

Two suspects accused of robbing two Hollister stores on San Juan Road in April 2010 – and leading police on a chase through Salinas before ending in a crash that killed a fourth accused assailant – had their scheduled jury trials moved from March to June, according to court records.

Roberto Silva, 21, and Omar Medrano, 20, have been charged by San Benito County prosecutors alleging felony counts of murder, use of a firearm and participating in a street gang, along with two counts of robbery and street-gang enhancements.

Silva and Medrano, both from Salinas, were in court Thursday and had their scheduled jury trials – previously set for March 26 – moved to June 25, according to court records.

A third suspect was charged as a juvenile and was assigned to Monterey County’s juvenile court system.

The fourth suspect, named Jesus Hernandez, 18, died at the scene.

They are accused of robbing nearly $1,000 at gunpoint from Mi Ranchito Market and an undisclosed amount from 156 Plaza Gas Station before fleeing toward Salinas on Highway 156. The suspects were flashing gang signs at officers during the chase that exceeded more than 100 mph, police alleged.

It ended in downtown Salinas where the driver of the black Honda lost control of the vehicle and slammed it into a building, parked vehicle and a street sign. The fourth suspect, Hernandez, was ejected out of the backseat of the vehicle and died on impact with the building, according to the police report.

For Silva and Medrano, they are scheduled for trial confirmation hearings at 9 a.m. June 14 in room 101 of the county courthouse. The jury trials are expected to last 10 days.

The suspects remain at the San Benito County Jail with bail set at $1 million.

Medrano is represented by Art Cantu, with public defender Greg LaForge handling the Silva case.

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