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Sentencing hearing in murder case postponed

A sentencing hearing was postponed Wednesday in the case of Armando Chacon, who was found guilty of second-degree murder charges in a jury trial last month.

Presiding Judge John Kirihara rescheduled the hearing for July 17, in order to allow Chacon's attorney, Tom Peiff, enough time to file a motion for a new trial.

Peiff said that motion should be filed by July 1.

On May 13, a jury of six men and six women found Chacon guilty for killing 24-year-old Ventura Martinez after an argument between the rival gang members outside a South Merced home.

In addition to the second-degree murder charge, Chacon was also found guilty of two enhancements for using a firearm to kill Martinez.

The guilty verdict came nearly three years after Chacon's first trial, which ended in a hung jury in July 2006.

He faces 40 years to life in prison, and remains at the Merced County Jail.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.

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