Merced County prosecutors decline to file charges in Winton shooting death

02/12/2014 5:26 PM

02/12/2014 5:27 PM

Merced County prosecutors have declined to file any charges in connection with the shooting death last month of a Turlock man.

Andy Coronado Jr., 26, was shot and killed Jan. 13 outside a home in the 6600 block of Golden Bobcat Court in Winton.

The Merced County District Attorney’s Office said the victim’s father, Andy Coronado Sr., is the main witness in the case and has refused to cooperate with investigators.

“So, right now at least, there really is insufficient evidence to file any charges,” said Rob Carroll, chief deputy district attorney.

Carroll said the father’s lack of cooperation was only part of the reason prosecutors decided not to file the case, but he declined to elaborate to protect any potential future prosecution.

“If some new significant evidence were to develop, we could always revisit and re-evaluate the case at that time,” Carroll said.

Authorities said Coronado and his father got into a fight with Andrez Villa, 32, and Villa’s father Asencion Villa, 61. The fight ended when Andrez and Asencion Villa both opened fire on the Coronados, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.

Coronado Jr. died a short time later at a regional hospital. His father suffered non-life-threatening injuries, investigators said.

Andrez Villa was dating Coronado Jr.’s sister and the two had been arguing about an upcoming trip to Southern California, Deputy Delray Shelton said.

During the argument the woman called her brother and her father in Turlock and apparently asked them to come intervene in the dispute, detectives said.

When the Coronados arrived, another argument broke out and gunfire erupted, deputies said.

Neither the Villas nor the Coronados could be reached for comment Wednesday.

No arrests were made, but Merced County sheriff’s investigators requested homicide charges against Andrez and Asencion Villa.

Those two men were also injured during the fight. Andrez Villa suffered a broken leg and Asencion Villa suffered a skull fracture, the Sheriff’s Department said.

Prosecutors said there’s not not enough evidence to charge either man with murder, in part because of the the lack of cooperating witnesses, including Coronado’s father.

Authorities said the Villas are claiming they were defending themselves from the Coronados, who they say came to their home and started the fight.

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