TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Two men have been sentenced to life in prison in relation to a murder that occurred in Visalia in 2021, officials with the Tulare District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.
Court officials said on July 28, 2021, at the Bowlero Bowling Alley in Visalia 25-year-old Derick Patel and other individuals accused the victim’s group of stealing a wallet.
The same day at 11:58 p.m. at the intersection of Caldwell and Mooney, a vehicle driven by 25-year-old Eliazar Guerra where Patel was a passenger, lined up beside the victim’s car, and a single shot was fired, officials say.
A man was shot in the neck and died at the scene. The same bullet hit a second man also in the neck, where a fragment remains and the wallet was discovered in Bowlero shortly after the homicide, court documents show.
According to court documents, after the shooting Patel told members of his group what statements to provide to the police. During the investigation, Visalia Police Department detectives located Patel and Guerra in Bakersfield the next day.
DA officials say on Jan. 26, 2022, a jury convicted Patel of first-degree murder, assault with a firearm, and two counts of dissuading a witness for reporting a crime.
Each count is a felony. Patel was sentenced on May 10, 2022, to 25 years to life plus 3 years and 8 months.
On Nov. 4, 2022, Guerra pleaded to second-degree murder and assault with a firearm. On Thursday, the court sentenced Guerra to 15 years to life in prison.