Pair accused of murder in O.C. bakery shooting go on trial Tuesday

Two men to stand trial for shooting death of Santa Ana bakery customer

Two men accused of fatally shooting a customer at a Santa Ana bakery in 2010 are set to go on trial on murder charges Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors allege that Israel Pena Lopez, 38, and Frankie Esteban Giraldo, 32, walked into Santa Ana’s Panaderia La Chapina bakery on Oct. 13, 2010, and shot Alejandro Sanchez dead before walking away.

The bakery on West Edinger Avenue was bustling with customers that night when the two men walked in through separate doors and past other patrons to Sanchez, who was getting a cup of coffee, prosecutors said.

Authorities say Lopez shot the 32-year-old Sanchez several times in the back. Sanchez was preparing coffee at a counter and had his back turned to the alleged gunman.

“It’s quite apparent that he was the specific target,” Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told The Times in 2010.

“They went in, shot him and left without injuring anyone else or firing another shot. They just left the building.”

Authorities said Lopez returned moments later and tried to shoot Sanchez again while he was on the floor, but his firearm failed to discharge.

Sanchez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lopez is charged with one felony count each of murder, possession of a firearm by a felon and sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. He faces a maximum sentence of 75 years to life in state prison.

Giraldo is charged with one felony count of murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 50 years to life in state prison.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin Tuesday at Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana. 

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