Two men, both 18 years old at the time, who stabbed a man in a gang-related incident last year were both sentenced Friday to eight years in state prison. Oxnard resident Javier Hernandez III and Goleta resident Juan Jose Vasquez, both involved with Goleta’s G13 gang, had pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon — a knife — and street terrorism, which counts as a gang enhancement, said prosecutor Hans Almgren. Two pair, neither of whom had a criminal record prior to the event, had been in County Jail since their arrest.
In the early afternoon on February 3, 2013, Hernandez and Vasquez confronted a 31-year-old man — reportedly a former gang member — and his friend at the Paseo Nuevo Mall. According to witness statements made to police, the two demonstrated gang signs and followed the man onto West Carrillo Street. They group began fighting and the 31-year-old was stabbed once in the back. Bystanders made several calls to authorities and recounted hearing a gang name being shouted during the incident. Officers quickly thereafter apprehended Hernandez and Vasquez near State and Carrillo Streets and also found the 31-year-old and his companion on the 900 block of Anacapa Street. The victim didn’t sustain long-term damage from the stabbing, Almgren said.