A Merced County jury has convicted two men for the death of a Hilmar man during a home invasion.
William White, 38, of Antioch, and Victor Hernandez, 27, of Modesto, were both convicted of first degree murder and two counts of home invasion robbery, with all gun enhancements found to be true, for their role in the death of Orlando Yepez on Aug. 1, 2014 in Hilmar.
White was also found guilty of one count of burglary.
In the early morning hours of Aug. 1, 2014, White, Hernandez, Yepez and two other men went to Juan Carlos Alvarez’s house with the intent to commit a robbery. During the commission of the robbery Hernandez pulled a gun on Alvarez, and during the struggle for control over the gun, Yepez was fatally shot.
The shooting was reported by a neighbor in the 7800 block of Kates Court.
Yepez sustained one gunshot wound and was transported to a Modesto hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Early into the investigation authorities stated the home invasion robbery was connected to the drug trade.
It was found that Hernandez and White were responsible for Yepez’s death because it occurred during the commission of the felony robbery they were attempting to commit.
“This conviction takes two dangerous men who have no regard for human life off of our streets, and is a huge step in the direction of making our neighborhoods safer,” said Deputy District Attorney Walter Wall, who prosecuted the case.
The two men will appear in court again on Aug. 17 for a hearing on their prior convictions. They both face a minimum of 25 years to life.