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  • Adult Time for Adult Crime: Rudolfo Sandoval

    On November 9th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments challenging the constitutionality of juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentences. In preparation for oral arguments, JLWOP: Faces & Cases will be an on-going series on The Foundry that will tell real stories about juvenile offenders who are currently serving LWOP sentences.

    Defendant: Rudolfo Sandoval (17)
    Victim: Ryan Briner
    Crime: First degree murder
    Crime date: May 5, 2004 in Ventura, California

    Rudolfo Sandoval shot and killed a random victim with a shotgun.

    Rudolfo Sandoval was a member of the Ventura Avenue Gangsters. The gang is Ventura’s most prominent Hispanic criminal street gang, and its members commit a variety of crimes within the community, from assaults to drug-related offenses to murder.

    Members of the Ventura Avenue Gang view most other gangs as their rivals, but they dislike gangs from Montalvo in particular. According to gang-crime experts, a Ventura Avenue Gang member’s stock would rise in the gang if he were to shot a random white male in Montalvo.

    On May 4, 2004, Sandoval struck a man in the head with a shotgun and then gave the shotgun to Javier Acevedo, a fellow gang member, who shot up the victim’s car.

    The following evening, Sandoval and Acevedo decided to “go cruising” around Montalvo in Acevedo’s car, which contained Acevedo’s 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun. At around 11:25 p.m., as the two drove down Wolverine Street in Montalvo, they spotted Ryan Briner, a 25-year-old white male walking toward his parents’ home at the end of the cul-de-sac.

    Sandoval and Acevedo exchanged words with Briner as they drove by him. They made a U-turn at the end of the street and parked. Sandoval, bearing the shotgun, and Acevedo walked toward Briner.

    Briner, fearing a fist fight, removed his shirt and wrapped it around his fist. But when he was just a few feet from Briner, Sandoval fired the shotgun, blowing a two-inch hole in Briner’s chest. Briner collapsed and, bleeding profusely, attempted to flee toward home, leaving a trail of blood in the street.

    Sandoval fired a second shot, striking Briner in the back. Briner fell to the ground and bled to death. Sandoval and Acevedo returned to the car and drove away. Many people, including Briner’s mother, witnessed the shooting. Briner’s mother ran out into the street, saw her bloodied son on the ground, and suffered broke down in tears.

    After leaving the murder scene, Acevedo and Sandoval drove to Acevedo’s grandmother’s home, where Sandoval shaved his head to avoid detection. They managed to avoid police scrutiny for over six months, until Acevedo was stopped by police officers for a traffic offense. A search of his car revealed shotgun ammunition, methamphetamine, a ski-mask, and the 12-gauge shotgun used to kill Briner.

    Both before and after his arrest, Sandoval told many people that he shot Briner.

    Charles D. Stimson is Senior Legal Fellow and Andrew M. Grossman is Senior Legal Policy Analyst in the Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to Adult Time for Adult Crime: Rudolfo Sandoval

    1. Bobbie Jay says:


    2. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      I think if you counted up all this guy has done you could make the Career Criminal argument. But he is no match for the sheer crime wave of, say, the Democrats in Congress. I think our Justice System was fine, so this guy's murder is not so horrible as his political affiliation, Gangs. Meth Amphetimine is a dehumanizing drug, it actually takes out the portions of the brain that make us distinctly human. I actually think it is more cruel to incarcerate for life than it is to impose the death penalty. That's a fate worse than death. Passion murders like Sandoval's don't meet the criteria for the extreme disregard for death sentencing.

      Hysteria about criminals plays into the Plutocrat plans to rule us all through chaos. The gang chaos has been bred, practically designed to make us all crazy. Government breeds gangs so you and I will get so horrified we will throw away our Liberty. Government finances gangs with Black Markets and vast lawless places so they can operate on protection racketeering. Oh yeah! Gangs are horrible, but what about the fascists who would like to put anybody in prison? Oh gee, set somebody up is too easy and cops are too stupid. Juries are too blind and Judge's hands are too well tied.

      Give them jobs, let them have families, put them in schools that actually work, let the capitalists at these people and you will see the gang problem vanish. Let them keep their capital, let them save their money, for God's sake let people work and make work actually work.

    3. Charles Platt, Arizo says:

      So what's your point? That someone who commits a cold-blooded murder is irredeemable and can never be rehabilitated? That's not very Christian, is it?

    4. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Dear Charles,

      Please read exactly what this "juvenile" did again.

      As I've said before, these people can live next to or near you.

      Secondly, what is the rate of recitivism among criminals? Are you willing to take the responsibility for "rehabilitating" this "juvenile" and then setting him loose?

      Lastly, the "not very Christian" comment is interesting and a typical response to try to close an argument. It's right out of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. Good try.

      To the point, I believe God will forgive me for trying to protect law-abiding citizens and fellow human beings from evil killers like this "juvenile".

    5. Dylan, portland, OR says:

      When a gang or cell has a culture of violence, all it's members are then consciously complicit. All gang members should be regarded as collective participants of any single member's violent act. Sandoval's adult gang members should also be held accountable / responsible for all of the gangs/cells violent acts since gang behavior is collective in nature.

      Gangs are formed by those who can't go it alone. The quick feeling of "being somebody", connectedness, power, and easy money entices and entraps gang members. But making it in American requires walking down that road alone, leaving the world you know, working with the system and it's rules, but mostly, having real and individual courage.

    6. Bobbie Jay says:

      It's hard to believe any life could become good after doing such premeditated, selfish acts. They took life away from many by taking this one. Unless rehabilitated by the teachings of the Man, Jesus Christ, punishment of the same outcome will deplete these unjust, uncivil acts.

    7. Sovereign Citizen, O says:

      Life without parole is too good for him/them!!!! It is also a total waste of tax dollars!!!!!

    8. gary unruh,californi says:

      where is Judge Roy Bean (Texas)when you need him???

    9. John, Atlanta says:

      The police cannot protect us from such random violence. It is up to the courts to execute these animals. I don’t want to see them become hero’s in prison, or be turned loose again on the unsuspecting and innocence in society.

      The courts have been to lenient on criminals like this in the past which allows these gang members no matter how young they are to believe they can get away with anything.

    10. Rich, Hampton, VA says:


      So what's your solution? What should the system do with young men like Sandoval? Telling someone here that it's not Christian like is not an answer. It's not very Christian like to shot someone in the chest and back at random and blame it on drugs or their parents. If Sandoval shot your son or daughter in cold blood what would you say sir? Would you turn the other cheek and what him shoot someone else. Maybe they should have just given him a good talking to and told go and sin no more. Maybe Sandoval is not a Christian. Maybe the person you made the comment to is not a Christian. Was the world not told that American is mostly a Muslum nation?

    11. Troy Ruppel says:

      There are witnesses to this attrocity, and the person has confessed. WHY IS HE STILL ALIVE?

    12. Ross writes from Bra says:

      In the 19th Century, England punished career and violent criminals with frontal abodomies(sp),which made them docile and somewhat retarded. With today's medical science, why can't criminals of violent crimes or dangerous aggressiveness be medically "switched off" by court order either permanently or temporarily. This would be an alternative to execution.

      Cruel and unusual punishment? No. Economical? No. Deterrent? maybe. One of the strong points would be prisons with violent and psychopathic criminals would be easier to handle…just thinking out loud.

      Otherwise go through the appeal process for death sentences route, by the time that is exhausted, the criminals will be adults in their late 20's or early 30's.

    13. John, Colorado says:

      Again, keep the Death Penalty and carry it out swiftly. Killers can't be rehabilitated. They enjoy killing too much.

    14. Fresno,Ca says:

      What do you want to bet this was not listed as a hate crime. The hate crime law dosn't work that way. It is only applied if the perpetrator is caucasian.

    15. Jerry from Chicago says:

      Mad dogs are mad dogs. They need to be destroyed, not caged.

    16. Freedom of Speech TX says:

      Fresno, CA.

      A very interesting point.

      But didn't you know? Juveniles don't have the mental capacity to "hate" so there is no hate crime involved.

      Boy that sounds just like one of my well-meaning but naive college professors!

    17. mark in spokane wa. says:

      Don't know about the rest of you, but my bible says ,that the way to put evil away from you is to take him to the gates of the city and stone him to death,look it up. Now, if thats not a death penalty I don't know what is, and is also christian.

    18. Mike Winsauer, Kings says:

      Sorry Charles, but the drivel you and Leon spew is just that, "DRIVEL"

      Wake up and join our world where there are good people AND bad people. The bad ones like the cowardly Sandoval give up their right to live among decent human beings because any of them could become their next victim.

      The fact that you can't seem to see and/or comprehend that simple concept but actually try to marginalize his crimes, makes me think that neither of you should have the right to live among decent people either.

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