Three gang members sentenced to prison for 2019 shooting death of Daniel Fuentes
Author: District Attorney
4/20/2022 1:36:14 PM
District Attorney Dan Dow announced today that Robert Joseph Garay (DOB 07/20/1991), Gabriel Luis Garay (DOB 07/04/1998), and Nathaniel Alexander Jara (DOB 12/21/1997) have been sentenced to state prison for the April 2, 2019, shooting death of Daniel Fuentes (41) of Arroyo Grande.
At an earlier evidentiary hearing, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Jacquelyn H. Duffy heard evidence that Robert Garay (30), Gabriel Garay (23), and Nathaniel Jara (24) were in a vehicle driven by Mr. Jara on April 2, 2019, when they came upon Daniel Fuentes who was riding his bicycle. When all three defendants got out of their vehicle, Robert Garay fired a handgun at Mr. Fuentes, striking him twice in the back, killing Daniel Fuentes.
On February 16, 2022, all three defendants pleaded guilty to various crimes for which they were sentenced today, April 20, 2022.
Robert Joseph Garay was convicted by his guilty plea for second degree murder and for active participation in a criminal street gang. He also admitted that he was previously convicted of the crime of assault with a deadly weapon in 2010, which is a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes sentencing law. As a result of his conviction and prior criminal history, Robert Joseph Garay was sentenced to serve 30 years to life in state prison.
Gabriel Luis Garay, who is Robert Joseph Garay’s younger brother, was convicted by his guilty plea for voluntary manslaughter and for active participation in a criminal street gang. Gabriel Garay also admitted that he was previously convicted of the crime of assault by force likely to cause great bodily injury in 2015, a “strike” under California’s Three Strikes law. As a result of his conviction, Gabriel Luis Garay was sentenced to serve 13 years and 4 months in state prison.
Nathaniel Alexander Jara was convicted by his guilty plea for voluntary manslaughter and for active participation in a criminal street gang. He also admitted that he was previously convicted of the crime of possession for sale of a controlled substance for the benefit of a criminal street gang in 2018, which is also a "strike" under California’s Three Strike Law. As a result of his convictions, Nathaniel Alexander Jara was sentenced to 13 years and 4 months in state prison.
“The People of San Luis Obispo County and all of California deserve full enforcement of our laws to hold violent criminals fully accountable and to keep our communities as safe as possible,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “That means, in San Luis Obispo County we do not decline to file criminal enhancements when the evidence supports them like some other California elected prosecutors. This prosecution and appropriately strong prison sentence send a resounding message that San Luis Obispo County will fully enforce the law to protect our community.”
The case was investigated by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office and the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations and was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Lindsey Bittner and Danielle Baker.
A copy of the charging document can be found here. A copy of the defendants’ booking photos can be accessed here.
For media inquiries, please contact Assistant District Attorney Eric J. Dobroth at (805) 781-5800.