The two Turlock men accused of beating to death a man at a cockfight in Livingston have pled not guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter.
Rafael Orosco, 24, and Juan Aguilera, 32, entered their pleas Wednesday in Merced County Superior Court. A bail review hearing for the two men was set for Friday, but was continued said Chief Deputy District Attorney John Gould. The men are being held at Merced County Jail with a bail of $200,000 each.
Also on Wednesday the Merced County Coroner’s Office released the name of the second man killed at the cockfight. Inocencio Gutierrez-Rodriguez, 35, of Riverbank was pummeled to death outside a Livingston home in the 6200 block of Washington Avenue.
Investigators from the Merced County Sheriff’s Department said Gutierrez-Rodriguez’s death was in retaliation for his shooting of Rafael Orosco’s brother, Miguel Romo Orosco, 20, of Turlock.The incident leading up to the double fatality began around 1 a.m. Sunday when two groups of men gathered at a cockfight got into a verbal dispute about a $10 difference in a wager on the match, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.
The argument escalated into violence and Gutierrez-Rodriguez pulled out a handgun and shot Miguel Orosco, who died at the scene from the gunshot wound.
Gutierrez-Rodriguez ran from the scene, with Rafael Orosco and Aguilera chasing after him. The men caught him, wrestled the gun away and proceeded to beat him, according to the sheriff’s department.
Merced County Sheriff Mark Pazin said the men were “bent on getting their vengeance right away for the shooting of their brother.”
When sheriff’s deputies arrived they found Gutierrez-Rodriguez’s body lying lifeless on the street.Aguilera sustained an injury during the struggle and was treated at a Modesto hospital before being booked into jail.
Both men were initially arrested on homicide charges.
“We reviewed the evidence and at this time it supports charges of voluntary manslaughter,” Gould said.
The men are scheduled for a preliminary hearing Aug. 16.The investigation into the cockfighting ring is ongoing. Investigators found dozens of carcasses, as well as 10 to 15 live roosters on the Washington property.To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.