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Gang Murder Case on Campbell-San Jose Border Going to Trial

From left, Raymundo Nava and Brandon Wantland, both 21, are in custody in connection to the March 16, 2011 McDonalds Bascom Avenue shooting of a young victim in the back of the head. Courtesy SCCSO
From left, Raymundo Nava and Brandon Wantland, both 21, are in custody in connection to the March 16, 2011 McDonalds Bascom Avenue shooting of a young victim in the back of the head. Courtesy SCCSO
The case against one of two gang members accused of an execution-style killing outside the McDonalds at 898 So. Bascom Ave. on the Campbell-San Jose border March 16, 2011 is going to trial, a judge decided this morning.

During a hearing Tuesday morning before Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Thang Barrett the case against one of the two suspects, Brandon Wantland, 21, was set for trial on April 14, 2014.

Suspect Raymundo Nava is no longer part of the case as he plead out, meaning he declared himself guilty and will be testifying against Wantland.

Nava, 21, will be sentenced later for the crime, said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Amir Alem, who's prosecuting the case.

At the time of what has been described as an execution-style shooting, the suspects were 18 years old.

Prosecutors allege the victim, Ruben Cortez, was a young man standing at the McDonalds on that fateful day minding his own business waiting for the bus when an individual got out of a car, ran from the Taco Bell at Bascom Avenue up to the McDonalds and went behind him shooting him once point-blank in the head killing him instantly.

The suspect then jumped over the victim's body, ran back in the same direction to a waiting car and fled out of the Taco Bell parking lot and onto Bascom Avenue driving away, Alem explained.

That shooter is Wantland, Alem said, and he's facing one count of murder. If found guilty, he faces the possibility of life in jail.

Nava and Wantland are both in custody at the Santa Clara County Jail.

The case is back in court at 8:45 a.m. April 14 Department 24 at the San Jose Hall of Justice for the beginning of trial, Alem said.

Several witnesses will testify against Wantland, Alem said, adding that the suspect is represented by criminal defense attorney Stuart Kirchick.

The case was handled by San Jose police detectives who discovered evidence at Nava's residence related to the crime and surveillance video linking them to the killing.

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