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March 21, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Man sentenced 2nd time for 1994 shooting at Ballard High School

Friends and family of Melissa Fernandes raise her picture in King County Court Friday as judge Beth Andrus heard arguments on a possible reduction in the sentence of her killer, Brian Ronquillo. (Photo by Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

Friends and family of Melissa Fernandes raise her picture in King County Court Friday as judge Beth Andrus heard arguments on a possible reduction in the sentence of her killer, Brian Ronquillo. (Photo by Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

A 36-year-old man who fatally shot a student outside Ballard High School in 1994 was sentenced for a second time in the drive-by slaying, again to slightly more than 51 years in prison.

Brian Ronquillo, who was 16 at the time, fired eight times as the car he was in passed students on the

 Brian Ronquillo turns back to look at the family of Melissa Fernandes, and asks for their forgiveness in the 1994 murder of the teen. (Photo by Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

Brian Ronquillo turns back to look at the family of Melissa Fernandes, and asks for their forgiveness in the 1994 murder of the teen. (Photo by Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times)

school grounds, killing Melissa Fernandes, 16, who police said was not an intended target. Another student was wounded.

Ronquillo was convicted of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder in November 1994 and sentenced to more than 51 years in prison. However, a recent decision on a sentencing technicality by the state Court of Appeals returned the case to King County Superior Court for resentencing.

According to Seattle Times reports, Cesar Sarausad II was the driver of one of two cars loaded with teenage boys and young men who were members of a loose-knit Seattle gang called the 23rd Street Diablos. One of the gang members, Jerome Reyes, had reportedly been chased off the Ballard campus a few days earlier by members of a rival gang, the Bad Side Posse.

The cars of the 23rd Street gang pulled up to Ballard High School around lunchtime, then left when told police were in the area, according to news reports. They returned about an hour later.

This time, Ronquillo, 16, fired eight times as the car he was in passed students on the school campus. Fernandes, who police said was a friend of both groups, was killed.

Reyes pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter after a jury deadlocked on a first-degree-murder charge. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Sarausad was convicted of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder and assault, and was sentenced to 27 years.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Ballard High School, drive-by shooting, gangs

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