Man Convicted in 2020 Long Beach Shooting That Left Bystander Dead

Man Convicted in 2020 Long Beach Shooting That Left Bystander Dead

The Deukmejian Courthouse on Magnolia Avenue in Long Beach in February 2024. (Google Maps/Screenshot via California Insider)

City News Service
City News Service

4/24/2024

Updated: 4/24/2024

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A second man was convicted April 23 in the apparent gang-related shooting death of an innocent bystander struck by gunfire in Long Beach more than three years ago.
A jury found Jacquise Wright, 34, of Long Beach guilty of first-degree murder for the Dec. 4, 2020, shooting that left Alejandra Martinez dead, along with one count each of attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and shooting from a motor vehicle, according to Deputy District Attorney Robert Song.
Wright is due back in court July 8 for sentencing.
Co-defendant Tyquan Benson, 28, also of Long Beach was convicted in July of the same charges, along with being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced in October to 50 years to life plus 17 years and eight months in state prison.
During Wright’s trial, the prosecutor told jurors that Martinez—a 36-year-old mother of three— had stopped at a taco truck after work and was fatally shot in crossfire created by Wright and Benson while a group of people were “boxed in and trapped” in the parking lot near Magnolia Avenue and Anaheim Street.
Song said it was “clear that one of two people killed Alejandra Martinez,“ telling the panel that it was “very clear” that it was either Benson or Wright who he said fired from separate vehicles after a confrontation with gang rivals.
“Even though we cannot definitely say which person shot [her] ... in either scenario, you can find him guilty of murder,” the deputy district attorney said in his closing argument.
A third shooter, whose identity is unknown, fired from the back of the taco truck in what was an apparent attempt to fire back at Benson as he left the parking lot, but was in the wrong position to have shot and killed Martinez, the prosecutor said.
Defense attorney George Moyer countered that Wright “did not shoot a firearm” and did not kill Martinez.
He said Wright tried to ease tensions with people who might have been rivals in gang territory and attempted to avoid conflict and get the food the men had ordered.
Wright’s lawyer called Benson a “hothead“ and told jurors that being associated with him “doesn’t make Jacquise Wright guilty.”
Wright’s attorney said the evidence “all points toward Jacquise Wright’s innocence.”
In a statement released shortly after the shooting, the Long Beach Police Department said detectives believed a gang-related dispute escalated into a shooting and that “the victim was not the intended target.”
A female juvenile was also struck in the upper body but recovered, police said.
Wright and Benson were arrested about 2 1/2 months after the shooting and have remained behind bars since.
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