Man sentenced to 35 years for East Palo Alto murder

Menlo Park man pleaded no contest to shooting death of Christopher Baker

Miguel Angel Rivera Jr. of Menlo Park was sentenced to 35 years to life in state prison on Friday after having pleaded no contest to second-degree murder in connection with the October 2012 shooting death of Christopher Baker, a member of a rival gang, in East Palo Alto.

Prosecutors asked that San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Lisa Novak allow Rivera, 27, to be eligible for parole after serving 35 years, according to a report from District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Prosecutors said that Rivera did not receive credit for time served since he is currently serving a sentence of 14 years and four months for being in possession of a firearm, a violation stemming from his status as a felon. His sentences are to run consecutively, adding up to 49 years and four months in total, prosecutors said.

The judge ordered Rivera to pay $10,000 in restitution and an amount to be determined to Baker's mother, Keisha Knowles, who made a statement at the sentencing hearing, prosecutors said.

Rivera was required to register as a gang member. He admitted to a gang affiliation, to having a felony conviction and to a previous felony strike against him, all of which enhance the charges, prosecutors said.

Police found Baker suffering from multiple gunshot wounds on Terra Villa Avenue in East Palo Alto on Oct. 5, 2012. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rivera was one of 16 people indicted by the District Attorney's Office as part of Operation Sunny Day in 2014.

Also charged in the shooting death of Baker and in custody on a no-bail status is Jerry Coneal III, 23, of Menlo Park. After five days of evidence presented so far by the prosecution, Coneal's jury trial before Novak was set to resume Monday morning.


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1 person likes this
Posted by XDM
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Aug 1, 2017 at 1:59 pm

Bad Guy off the Streets. Good Job PD. Good to see murder cases being solved and given consequences for their actions.

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