Had past confrontations with victim
By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney
On Tuesday, March 16, 2021 defendant Juan Muñoz was sentenced to 19 years to life after he pleaded guilty to murder and admitting to the use of a firearm. The victim’s family was present during the sentencing of Muñoz. Earlier this month, Muñoz formally entered his guilty plea before his trial was to start.
On September 24, 2017, the defendant tracked down and shot the victim, 20-year-old Pittsburg resident Jose Escobedo-Ortega, in City Park in Pittsburg. The victim was hanging out and listening to music when the defendant murdered him.
Pittsburg Police conducted an exhaustive investigation and soon identified the defendant as the shooter. Officers arrived on scene within 90 seconds of receiving the call and located a 20-year-old male suffering from gunshot wounds. Officers immediately began performing lifesaving efforts on the victim. The victim later succumbed to his injuries on scene. Pittsburg Police Detectives took over the investigation and began following up on leads. During the investigation Detectives were able to determine Escobedo-Ortega and Muñoz knew each other and had confrontations in the past. Detectives were able to locate witnesses and review city video surveillance to aid their investigation.
The Pittsburg Police SWAT team served search warrants at residences in the 100 block of Jimno Avenue and the 100 block of Davi Avenue. During the service of these warrants, Detectives located and arrested the 19-year-old Muñoz and an unnamed juvenile suspect for the shooting death of Escobedo-Ortega. In addition, Detectives located a firearm they believe was the weapon used against Escobedo-Ortega. Muñoz was arrested within about three days of his crime.
The District Attorney’s Office initially filed the murder charge against Muñoz in October 2017.
“While no amount of time will ever bring Jose Escobedo-Ortega back, we hope that this resolution will give his family some closure,” said Deputy District Attorney Satish Jallepalli.
Case information: People v. Juan Munoz, Docket Number 05-182274-1
Allen Payton contributed to this report.