Woodland man convicted of premeditated gang murder

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(Woodland, CA) – May 15, 2018 – Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig announced that on May 11, 2018 a Yolo County jury convicted 20-year-old Woodland man Christian ‘Kiki’ Rizo of a number of crimes that occurred on June 29, 2016, including, murder in the first degree, being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, possessing a loaded weapon in a public place, and criminal street gang activity. The jury also found that a “special circumstances” enhancement for committing the murder for the benefit of the gang.

The jury heard witnesses testify that in the early morning hours of June 29, 2016, a woman was driving Mr. Rizo and another male Norteno gang member down Community Lane. That area was known Norteno gang territory. Parked on the side of the road was Arnulfo ‘Happy’ Bermudez. Mr. Bermudez was known to local law enforcement as being associated with the rival Sureno gang. Ms. Pena was instructed to turn the car around and stop next to Bermudez’s car. When she did so, Mr. Rizo got out of the front passenger seat with a shotgun and shot Bermudez one time in the back, killing him.

District Attorney Jeff Reisig credited the tenacity of the Yolo County Gang Taskforce and the Woodland Street Response Team for investigating this case and closing it after it had gone “cold.” “The victim was ambushed and murdered on a residential street by a gang member who was committed to violence,” Reisig stated. “Once again, this case demonstrates the real danger posed to our communities by gang violence and the reasons why we must continue to vigorously prosecute gang activity at all levels.”

Deputy District Attorney Jay Linden said, “We can’t have dangerous people like this roaming the streets of Woodland. I’m pleased the jury worked hard and came to the right decision. Next, Mr. Rizzo will be sentenced by Judge Beronio.”

The Honorable Janene Beronio presided over the case and is scheduled to sentence Mr. Rizo on July 20, 2018. Mr. Rizo faces Life in State Prison without Parole.

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