Man found guilty in murder of Vallejo musician


Raul Vega, 20, faced charges for the drive-by shooting death of Tucker on Interstate Highway 80 in Contra Costa County on Jan. 12, 2010, as well as for the killing of Juan Carlos Angel Esparza, 20, at an elementary school in Santa Rosa on Jan. 8, 2011.

The jury deliberated for seven days before returning Friday with a guilty verdict on first-degree murder charges against Vega, who was also convicted of voluntary manslaughter for the death of Esparza.

The jury also found Vega guilty of shooting into an occupied vehicle and of the intentional discharge of a firearm in the case involving Tucker, as well as that the killing was done in furtherance of a criminal street gang.

Tucker, a bass player for hip-hop artist Lauren Hill, was killed in a case of mistaken identity because Vega thought he was a member of a rival gang, prosecutors said.

Vega appeared shocked when the verdict was read and reluctantly agreed to waive time until Nov. 1 to set a date for sentencing.

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