The trial for a 22-year-old man charged with a rival gang killing outside a Pasco grocery store has been postponed to Aug. 14.
Chris Pedroza-DeSantiago was scheduled to face a jury Monday in Franklin County Superior Court.
The Kennewick man is accused of killing Juan C. Melgoza in February 2015 because of the color of the victim’s clothes.
Prosecutors claim Pedroza-DeSantiago was leaving Fiesta Foods when he stumbled into Melgoza. The two exchanged words, then walked away from each other.
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An angry Pedroza-DeSantiago allegedly enlisted the help of Abraham Barajas, 15 at the time, and returned to the store within minutes, court documents said.
They argued over who would pull the trigger before Pedroza-DeSantiago grabbed the .40-caliber pistol and shot the 42-year-old Pasco man in the back, documents said.
Barajas allegedly told investigators that Pedroza-DeSantiago yelled their gang’s name as he fired several times.
Pedroza-DeSantiago is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and illegal gun possession.
On Friday, Judge Alex Ekstrom denied a defense motion to dismiss the case.
He did grant a request from attorney Norma Rodriguez for a brief trial delay but, due to busy schedules of all parties, the next available date is 3 1/2 months out.