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Gabriel Gomez Trial: 2000

Victim's Half-brother Arrested, Circumstantial Evidence Weighed, Gomez Reveals Burial Site, Suggestions For Further Reading

Defendant Gabriel Gomez
Crimes Charged: Murder, kidnapping
Chief Defense Lawyer: Antonio Bestard
Chief Prosecutor: Donald J. Clem
Judge: Robert Martinez
Place: Pomona, California
Date of Trial: October 23-31, 2000
Verdict: Guilty
Sentence: Life imprisonment without parole, plus 22 years

SIGNIFICANCE: The disappearance of Sandra Rosas, wife of Los Lobos cofounder Cesar Rosas, was immediately linked to her half-brother Gabriel Gomez. Although family members had no doubts that Gomez had kidnapped and murdered her, the lack of a body forced prosecutors to attempt to convict Gomez with circumstantial evidence.

On October 23, 1999, the popular band Los Lobos was about to go onstage in Louisiana when guitarist Cesar Rosas received devastating news from the West Coast. His wife, Sandy, was missing from their home in Rowland Heights, a Los Angeles suburb. Rosas rushed home to California to learn that police were holding and questioning his wife's half-brother, Gabriel Gomez.

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