A 24-year-old man who pleaded no contest on Friday to manslaughter charges in the shooting death of an alleged gang member could receive five years and four months in state prison for the crime as part of a plea deal, the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office said.
Leonard James Gaines was charged in the Jan. 15, 2013, shooting death of Jonathan Alcazar, 24, in the backyard of Alcazar's Illinois Street home in East Palo Alto. Raymond Bradford, Emmanuel Hyland and Tyrone Love-Lopez were also charged with Alcazar's death and for injuring another man.
Gaines is also one of four men who was arrested for the 2013 attempted robbery of Plaza Jewelers in Redwood City. He and defendants Bradford, Rodney Mitchell of East Palo Alto and Robert Wheller Jr. of Hayward were arrested for the attempted robbery as part of Operation Sunny Day, a major sweep of 16 alleged gang members accused of committing murders, attempted murders and other crimes in connection with retaliation attacks.
Gaines was indicted in March 2015 for the death after being arrested also in connection with the robbery, for which he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
He pleaded no contest in the Alcazar killing to charges of voluntary manslaughter and felony assault with a firearm and he admitted a gang enhancement charge. His sentence for the Alcazar case would be served consecutively, the District Attorney's Office said.
Prior to his plea deal, Gaines was charged with first-degree murder, murder while lying in wait, gang-related crime, being a felon in possession of a firearm, conspiracy to commit murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Some of the charges were dismissed as part of the negotiated plea because prosecutors could not prove the allegations, according to the District Attorney's Office.
A judge in San Mateo County Superior Court will determine Gaines' sentence on Jan. 25.