According to a report by our news partners The Seattle Times, the 36-year-old man who shot and killed a student outside Ballard High School in 1994 was sentenced for the second time on March 21.
Brian Ronquillo, who was 16 years old at the time of the shooting, was sentenced again due to a recent decision on a sentencing technicality by the state Court of Appeals. The decision led Ronquillo’s case to be returned to King County Superior Court for resentencing.
Initially, back in November 1994, Ronquillo was convicted of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder and was sentenced to more than 51 years in prison.
The Seattle Times reports that Ronquillo fired eight times from a car as it passed students on BHS school grounds on March 17, 1994, killing 16-year-old Melissa Fernandez. Police believe that Fernandes was not the target of the shooting and another student was also wounded during the incident.
According to the report, Cesar Sarausad II was the driver of one of the cars filled with teenagers and young men who were part of a Seattle gang called the 23rd Street Diablos. Reportedly, the 23rd Street gang arrived in cars at BHS around lunchtime and then left when they were informed that police were in the area. When they returned about an hour later, Ronquillo fired the shots out of the car window killing Fernandes.
A few days earlier one of the gang members, Jerome Reyes, had reportedly been chased off the Ballard campus by members of another rival gang, the Bad Side Posse.
During the trial in 1994, Reyes pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter after a jury deadlocked on a first-degree-murder charge. He was then sentenced to eight years in prison.
Sarausad was also convicted of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder and assault, and was sentenced to 27 years.
Reyes pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter after a jury deadlocked on a first-degree-murder charge. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Sarausad was also convicted of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder and assault. He was sentenced to 27 years.
Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times. Photo credit – Dean Rutz.