The sentencing date for 15-year-old Ricardo Juarez, scheduled for Thursday, was continued until January 8 in a brief hearing in front of Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Brian Hill.
At that hearing, which began at 2 p.m. and was scheduled to spill over to the next day, Hill had been rumored to sentence Juarez, who was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter earlier this month by a Santa Barbara jury in the stabbing death of 15-year-old Luis Angel Linares during a gang brawl on State Street in March 2007. He faces up to 22 years behind bars.
Many youth and members of Juarez’s family turned out for the appearance sporting T-shirts with his photo on it and a line reading “Teens do not deserve adult punishment.” Family for Linares was also in court.
Prosecutor Hilary Dozer said that while he expects the defense to file a motion for a new trial, he hasn’t seen one yet. In the meantime, the Probation Department will prepare a report to assemble information on the facts of the case, Juarez’s social history, and impacts on the victim’s family and the community.
The defense indicated in court they expected to call witnesses during the sentencing, and Dozer indicated the victim’s family would also be making a public statement, either themselves or through him.