PLEASANTON -- A second suspect in a 2011 Livermore gang shooting pleaded not guilty to assault charges Tuesday morning after an investigation that lasted more than a year.
Jesus Ramon Gonzalez, 18, pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault with a deadly weapon using a firearm, in a hearing at the Gale-Schenone Hall of Justice in Pleasanton.
Gonzalez and 21-year-old Thomas Melching were the chief suspects in a shooting that occurred March 3, 2011 near Chestnut and North I streets in Livermore. Both victims were treated for their injuries and survived.
Gonzalez was in Alameda County Juvenile Hall on another offense when police arrested him July 4 in connection with the shooting.
Melching was arrested in April 2011, convicted of assault with a deadly weapon using a firearm and sentenced to five years in state prison.
In building a case against Gonzalez, police ordered DNA analysis and gathered cellphone records during a yearlong investigation, receiving cooperation from witnesses who were initially reluctant to come forward.
"We worked closely with the District Attorney's office and there were some hurdles," Officer Steve Goard said. "DNA analysis takes forever, and obtaining some of the other records and statements took a very long time."
Gonzalez was in juvenile hall after running away from a youth home where he had been sentenced for another offense, Goard said. He will be charged as an adult in the shooting
Gonzalez will return to court for a pretrial hearing July 31.
Contact Erin Ivie at 925-847-2122. Follow her at Twitter.com/erin_ivie.