A reputed gang member was sentenced Friday to 25 years to life in state prison for conspiring to murder a fellow gang member who had identified two suspects in a fatal shooting at the Viper Lounge in Hayward in 2008.
Jacob Castro, 33, who was convicted in a jury trial last month, directed three colleagues to kill their fellow gang member and his family at their home in San Leandro in July 2011, prosecutor John Brouhard said in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland this morning.
Castro was upset at the man for cooperating with authorities in the investigation of the Aug. 30, 2008, shooting death of 24-year-old Nathan Tuitasi at the Viper Lounge, located at 29308 Mission Blvd. in Hayward, Brouhard said.
However, Hayward police learned of the plot to kill the intended victim, conducted an intensive undercover operation that included making surveillance videos and were able to stop Castro and his colleagues before they could carry out their plan, Brouhard said.
On July 8, 2011, police arrested Castro in Castro Valley and co-defendants Johnny Brown, Lorenzo Farfan and Ruby Farfan in San Jose, according to Brouhard.
In a sad twist in the case, the man the four defendants were plotting to kill has since died of cancer, Brouhard said.
Brown, Lorenzo Farfan and Ruby Farfan have all pleaded no contest to attempted murder, Brouhard said.
Brown faces a 19-year state prison term and Ruby Farfan faces seven years, according to Brouhard.
Lorenzo Farfan already has been sentenced to 5 years in state prison, he said.
Witnesses to the fatal shooting at the Viper Lounge said it resulted from a dispute between two groups of people, Hayward police said.
Brouhard said the gang colleague Castro and the other defendants wanted to kill identified two men who were involved in killing Tuitasi, as the colleague was at the bar at the time of the shooting. Those two men later pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter for Tuitasi's death, Brouhard said.
Castro, who has a tattoo on his neck as well as a goatee and a ponytail, chose not to speak at his brief sentencing hearing today. The intended victim's family members also didn't speak.
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