Judge delays sentencing in 2011 Taco Bell murder

Lester Miranda-Davis

After nearly four hours of argument and testimony, Mesa County District Judge Brian Flynn said Friday that he may need up to a month to decide the sentence for one of four men involved in a 2011 crime wave in Grand Junction that included the murder of a man at North Avenue’s Taco Bell.

Flynn said his “outside deadline” for deciding a sentence is a full month.

“I don’t expect to take that long,” the judge said at the end of Friday’s scheduled sentencing.

Lester Miranda-Davis, 20, of Clifton, faces 24 to 48 years in prison after pleading guilty in September to second-degree murder, menacing, second-degree burglary and robbery. The District Attorney’s Office dismissed a first-degree murder charge in exchange for the plea. He’s being held without bond at the Mesa County Jail.

Miranda-Davis was among four men charged in a July 16, 2011, crime spree that included the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Jorge Carrasco, who was gunned down while eating outside of Taco Bell, 850 North Ave.

The four suspects — all but Miranda-Davis have suspected ties to a northern California gang — are also accused in two armed robberies and a home burglary that same day in Grand Junction.

All the crimes happened within a 14-hour window, prosecutors have said.

Christian Fuentes, 20, of East Palo Alto, Calif., is being held on $1.5 million bond at the Mesa County Jail.

The other two suspects, Jaime Cardenas, 21, and Fidel Silva, 25, also of East Palo Alto, are still wanted by authorities and are listed on the Grand Junction Police Department’s 10 Most Wanted List.

Fuentes, Cardenas and Silva are also suspected of involvement in two homicides in East Palo Alto around the time of the one-day crime spree in Grand Junction.


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