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Bail denied for high-ranking gang member

Posted: Friday, Aug 16th, 2013

Oscar "Baby Joker" Amezcua Cabrera appears in court Thursday to face charges of murdering Jose "Joe" Cabrera in Watsonville in 2006. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

SANTA CRUZ — A Santa Cruz Superior Court judge denied bail Thursday for a high-ranking gang member who had been on the run for seven years following a homicide in Watsonville.

Oscar “Baby Joker” Amezcua Cabrera, who was captured Aug. 1 in Michoacán, Mexico, is back in Santa Cruz County to stand trial for the murder of Jose “Joe” Cabrera (no relation).

Cabrera’s bail had been set at $1.35 million but prosecutor Michael Gilman argued that since Cabrera, 36, was a commander in the Nuestra Familia criminal street gang, he has access to vast sums of money, thus posting bail would be relatively easy. Gilman went on to explain to Judge Paul Burdick that when authorities caught up with Cabrera in Mexico he offered them $80,000 to be set free. Gilman’s point was that $80,000 is close to the 10 percent of the existing bail, which is what Cabrera would have to post in order to be released.

On March 13, 2006, police discovered Joe Cabrera’s body in a turnout near the intersection of Buena Vista Drive and Larkin Valley Road on the north side of Watsonville.

Within three days authorities named Oscar Cabrera as the suspect.

For the complete article see the 08-17-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-17-2013 paper.

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