SAN DIEGO – A local man was sentenced to a minimum of 67 years in prison for a 2015 shooting that killed an 18-year-old, authorities said.
Roger Hernandez, 34, was sentenced Friday to 67 years to life in prison for the murder of 18-year-old Juan Munoz. Hernandez was convicted of the crime in April.
According to San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan, Hernandez was one of two men who chased down the teenager in October 2015, believing Munoz to be a rival gang member.
Munoz was murdered on his way home from buying soft drinks and snacks when he stopped at a stop sign on the same street where his friends were hanging out. Luis Karam, the man with Hernandez, pulled in front of Munoz’s car to prevent him from driving off.
Hernandez got out of the car and issued a gang challenge. Before the 18-year-old was able to respond, Hernandez fired several shots into the car with a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun, hitting him in the arm, shoulder and neck.
The case originally went cold for several years but in 2018, officers with the National City Police Department worked with the DA’s office to narrow down the two suspects in this case.
In November 2018, Hernandez was arrested for murder. Karam initially tried to flee but was ultimately taken into custody by police and was sentenced in July to 20 years in prison.
“This innocent young victim was hunted by violent gang members and was tragically in the wrong place at the wrong time,” DA Stephan said. “A measure of justice has finally been delivered to the family of Juan Muñoz, Jr. We will continue to fight to keep every neighborhood safe from crime and address gang violence through prosecution and prevention.”