Two inmates who had been awaiting trial for gang-related killings and several other felony charges escaped from a California jail on Sunday morning, the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office said.
Santos Samuel Fonseca, 21, and Jonathan Salazar, 20, were being held at the Monterey County Adult Detention Facility in Salinas, Calif., when they escaped, according to the authorities.
“Do not approach them, as they are considered dangerous,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.
The sheriff’s office did not say how the pair had escaped from the lockup, which holds about 800 inmates.
“That investigation is still ongoing,” Sgt. Zach Swift of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office said in an interview.
Mr. Fonseca and Mr. Salazar, both of whom have been in custody since 2018 and are Salinas residents, had been scheduled to go to trial next year in separate murder cases. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Mr. Fonseca was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in a pair of shootings in June 2018 in Salinas that killed Lorenzo Gomez Acosta, 37, and Ernesto Garcia Cruz, 27, according to court records.
Mr. Acosta was talking to his wife in Mexico on FaceTime when he was shot in the driver’s seat of his Nissan Maxima, according to The Californian, a local newspaper, which reported that Mr. Fonseca told detectives that he had been ordered to carry out the killing to prove his loyalty to the “Boronda gang.”
Mr. Salazar was charged with the murder of Jaime Martinez, 20, who was fatally shot in October 2017 while driving in a car with his girlfriend and 18-month-old child. Mr. Martinez’s girlfriend survived the shooting and the toddler was not injured. The authorities said the shooting was gang-related.
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