Attempted Murder Suspects Enter Guilty Pleas

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Gabriel Castillas. Photo courtesy of the SMPD.

SANTA MONICA—Two suspects who were responsible for shooting a Santa Monica man multiple times will spend time behind bars. Levy Rodriguez, 25, of Santa Monica pleaded guilty to the attempted murder charge of Jose Villasenor Jr., 34, of Santa Monica, on September 10, 2014. Rodriguez will spend the next 11 years in a state prison.

Rodriguez and his accomplice, Gabriel Castillas, 20, of Santa Monica, drove by the victim (Villasenor) on June 9, 2013, as he was riding his bike on the 2900 block of Exposition Blvd in Santa Monica. Rodriguez opened fire striking the victim five times. Villasenor made a full recovery from the injuries he sustained.

Both Castillas and Rodriguez are known to be documented Santa Monica gang members. According to a press release from the SMPD, the shooting is suspected to be the result of an internal gang dispute.

Castillas was apprehended by authorities and convicted in November 2013 where he will spend six years in a state prison for his involvement in the crime. He also attempted to prevent witnesses from testifying against Rodriguez.

In August 2014, authorities arrested Angela Archuletta, 29, of Santa Monicawho was an accessory to the crime. She is an acquaintance to Rodriguez and her current court proceedings are still pending.