Orozco murder retrial pushed back 5 months

June 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The retrial of a teenager accused of committing a murder in Redwood City when he was 14 years old was pushed back nearly five months today at the defense's request.

Josue Orozco, now 19, is accused in the July 12, 2005, fatal shooting of 21-year-old Francisco Rodriguez.

He is charged with murder with the special circumstance of committing the murder for gang purposes and faces life in prison if convicted.

His case has made headlines a number of times - including after his arrest in 2005 when Orozco became the youngest defendant charged with murder in San Mateo County, and then in February 2008 when he escaped the juvenile detention facility where he was being held. He was caught in San Antonio, Texas, that September.

Orozco's first trial ended in a mistral after jurors announced they were deadlocked Dec. 14, 2009. Of the 12 jurors, seven were leaning toward a guilty verdict.

The San Mateo County District Attorney's Office announced its decision to retry Orozco in January, Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

More recently, Orozco and five other adults have been accused of trying to prevent witnesses from testifying in Orozco's first trial. Those six defendants have all pleaded not guilty and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for July 20.

Orozco's jury trial was rescheduled today for Nov. 15, nearly five months after the initial June 28 retrial date because the defense had requested additional time to review information on the witness tampering case.

During his first trial, Orozco maintained his innocence and said another man, currently serving time for his role as the driver in the incident, was the shooter.

Orozco remains in custody without bail.


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