Inmates facing attempted murder charges

February 17, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

Up to 16 Imperial County Jail inmates could be charged with attempted murder in coming weeks if they were involved in a huge fight that erupted during a Friday morning recreation session.

Of the inmates, those who might have been released soon are each being held on $100,000 bail.

Sheriff's Department Lt. Johnathan Prince said four inmates were hurt in the scuffle but none were hurt seriously.

Prince said two men started the fight on the recreation yard's basketball court just after a group of 20 prisoners walked into the jail's "recreation module."

According to eyewitnesses, almost all of the prisoners in the recreation yard joined in the fight, allegedly using jailhouse weapons on rivals.

Prince said the Sheriff's Office would try to prosecute the prisoners responsible for starting the alleged melee but, "It's going to be tough because no one is going to talk. Victims will do the same. That's prison."


He said the specifics as to how and why the fight started are still under investigation.

The 16 participants in the alleged fight were only getting three hours of recreation time in the module per week before the fight.

They are housed in the maximum security jail next to the Imperial County Sheriff's Office.

The following names and ages of the 16 held under suspicion of attempted murder were listed on the office's log: Francisco Daniel Alvarez, 40, of El Centro; Manuel Sandoval Avina, 60, of El Centro; Ivan Lopez Garcia, 22, of Brawley; Luis Gomez, 20, of El Centro; Pablo Vargas Hernandez, 27, of El Centro; Johnny Albert Jaime, 39, of Oceanside; Mike Gonzalez Jimenez, 30, of El Centro; Ruben Antonio Martinez, 38, of El Centro; Rey Manuel Ayon Montano of Imperial, John Martin Patton, 38, of El Centro; Angel Pena, 29, of El Centro; Gabriel Juan Reyes, 26, of Brawley; Abel Vasquez-Bojorquez, 30, of the state of Sinaloa, Mexico; Michael Lopez Velarde, 20, of El Centro; Juan Francisco Velasquez, 34, of Heber and Jose Manuel Zepeda, 33, no home town listed.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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