The California Supreme Court refused this week to review the case of two brothers convicted of a September 2013 car-to-car shooting in Palmdale that fatally wounded a 7-year-old girl.
Jesus and Carlos Peralta were convicted of first-degree murder for the death of Desirae Macias, who was taken off life support four days after the Sept. 4, 2013, shooting.
The two also were found guilty of three counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle.
In a March 13 ruling, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s finding that the girl’s murder and the attempted murders of three other people in the car with her were willful, deliberate and premeditated.
Jesus Peralta approached the boyfriend of the girl’s mother and asked him where he was from while they were at the gas station, and Carlos Peralta then raised his shirt to reveal a gun tucked in his waistband, according to testimony presented during the trial.
The man backed away from the two brothers and then pepper-sprayed themas they neared the vehicle, then called 911 as the vehicle was being chased and fired upon. He didn’t discover that his girlfriend’s daughter had been shot in the head until he arrived home.
The appellate court justices noted that the defendants knew there were other people in the vehicle and chose to pursue the car into a residential neighborhood after a confrontation with one of the car’s passengers at a Palmdale gas station shortly after midnight.
Jesus Peralta fired a series of shots while his brother continued to follow the vehicle, and then fired a second series of shots, the appeals court panel noted in its 46-page ruling.
“All of this evidence supports the jury’s finding that defendants reflected before and during the undertaking of their crimes,” the appellate court justices wrote, noting that the two knew that their target victim was not the only person in the vehicle.
A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy later stopped a vehicle matching one that was involved in the shooting, and the two brothers were arrested.
Jesus Peralta was sentenced in July 2015 to 125 years to life in state prison, while his sibling was ordered to serve 46 years to life behind bars.