Fuentes Acquitted in Killing

Stafone N. “Stix” Fuentes was acquitted today of helping to shoot and kill Jose J. “Junior” Solis on November 27, 2011 in a gang fight on Third Avenue. Fuentes had been charged with second-degree murder, second-degree assault, riot with a deadly weapon, and unlawful possession of a firearm, the Spokesman-Review reports.

Fuentes, age 27, who has prior convictions, was facing life in prison if he had been found guilty in the death of Solis. Fuentes’ defense attorney, Rob Cossey said, “He’s not an angel, but I truly believed he was innocent.” Cossey also said that Fuentes was “one of the brightest clients I’ve ever had.”

Police had alleged that Fuentes handed the weapon to John A. “Lil Danger” Castro, who then shot Solis in the chest, killing him. Cossey questioned why Fuentes was charged when the four men who were involved in the incident were caught on video, and Fuentes was not one of them. Cossey said only one unreliable witness had placed Fuentes at the scene.

As he arrived for court today, eight corrections deputies guarded the entrances and exits.  Fuentes entered, walked over to Cossey and said:  “No matter what happens, you did a great job” and shook Cossey’s hand.

Judge Maryann Moreno dismissed the assault charges, Fuentes was found not guilty on the murder, firearm, and riot charges. Of the acquittal, Cossey said, “I believe I’ve done a good thing here today. I don’t always feel that way.”