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VENTURA : Friend of Slain Boy Guilty of Assault

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A 16-year-old reputed gang member from the Ventura Avenue area was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon Wednesday for starting a fight that led to the October stabbing death of his 14-year-old companion.

The teen-ager was also found guilty in Juvenile Court of simple assault and of the special allegation of acting in concert with a criminal street gang, Deputy Dist. Atty. John Vanarelli said.

The juvenile was acquitted of two conspiracy charges. He will be sentenced Dec. 26 and faces a maximum sentence of seven years and two months, Vanarelli said.

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Two other boys, 14 and 12, also face assault charges for their role in the Oct. 10 fight in which Ricardo Hernandez of Ventura was fatally stabbed.

Hernandez and the three other juveniles attacked two Oxnard men in Ventura’s Grant Park with a chain and rocks, police said.

Eric Jones of Oxnard stabbed Hernandez, but the district attorney’s office absolved Jones of wrongdoing, saying he acted in self-defense.

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