Man Convicted in West Sacramento Beating

After Officer Duggins mentioned that he had never spoken to the Red Nose Pits about their core principles, defense attorney Spangler objected to his being an expert on the Red Nose Pits in particular.

Judge Mock, however, responded, “I would find that he is an expert in the area of criminal street gangs and is able to give opinion testimony on the Norteno criminal street gang in general, and the Red Nose Pits in particular.”

A good portion of the basis for establishment in the gang has to do with a number of photos that were obtained from a camera and thumb drive from Mr. Delgado’s residence following the beating incident.

Officer Duggins argued that the photos show a progression, where Mr. Delgado is almost acting as an ambassador from the Red Nose Pits to the West Sacramento Nortenos, upon his move from Citrus Heights to West Sacramento.

At first, Mr. Delgado is seen with his Red Nose Pits associates from Citrus Heights, but gradually more and more with gang members from West Sacramento.  The most recent photos show him exclusively with West Sacramento alleged gang members.  The officer argued this shows Delgado’s allegiance to West Sacramento, and belies the fact that he cannot just come into the community without forming some sort of alliance with them.

Officer Duggins stated that, in his opinion, “Mr Delgado on that day was an active participant of the Norteno criminal street gang.”

He also stated that he had never met defendant Michael Romero prior to this incident.  However, based primarily on photos, Mr. Romero is an active gang member, in his opinion.  In particular, he noted the booking photos from Christmas Eve, 2008, where Mr. Romero had spray painted on his jeans “XIV 4 life” in red spray paint, and also showed dots on his hand indicating 1 and 4.

Case Analysis

The defense presented no witnesses or evidence in this case.  Nor did they make an opening statement.
Garrett Hamilton, the prosecutor in this case, argued, “This was a beating death.  This was a murder interrupted.”  “When you deliver a battering ram to the head of Mr Harpst… you’re making a big statement to the Norteno community – it’s not just a cigarette robbery.”

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