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Salinas gang member sentenced 50-years-to-life for 2017 Hebbron Heights murder

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV) UPDATE MAY 25, 2022, at 4:10 p.m.-- A known gang member has been sentenced to 50-years-to-life for a 2017 murder on Hebbron Heights, according to Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine M. Pacioni.

Luis "Reeses" Atayde, 22, a Salinas resident, was found guilty in the murder of John Rodzach, 39, on March 28 of this year.

This arrest and conviction is part of law enforcement's operation REDRUM where they investigate the process of gang members systematically killing people to gain entry into a gang. Rival gang members are the targets for these killings but are not a requirement, said Pacioni.

ORIGINAL STORY

The Monterey County District Attorney's Office said a gang member was found guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday.

Luis "Reeses" Atayde, 22, of Salinas, was found guilty on Friday of the 2017 Hebbron Heights murder of John Rodzach, who was 39 at the time of his death.

On Feb. 11 of 2017 at around 12:30 a.m. Salinas Police responded to numerous gunshots near the Hebbron Heights Community Center.

On March 28, 2022, Atayde was found to have murdered for the benefit of a gang and to have discharged a firearm in its commission.

Jeannine M. Pacioni said officers found Rodzach was found dead on the scene from multiple gunshot wounds to his head, torso and limbs.

Evidence in the trial from the investigation of the murder referred to as REDRUM, said a street gang was having members gang "hunting" other rival gang members for initiating new members.

That's what they believe motivated the murder of Rodzach, according to the DA.

Although the killings never required victims to be rival gang members.

A sentencing hearing has been set for April 22, and Atayda faces 50 years and eight to life in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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Ricardo Tovar

Assignment/ Web Manager for KION News Channel 5/46 and Telemundo 23

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