In a case where the sentenced killer had been well-connected with City Hall officials, a brawl broke out between the victim’s family and the defendant’s friends after Norteño gang member Fernando Madrigal was sentenced to 33 years in prison.
It was already a highly unusual case, where a so-called former gang member who’d killed two people was also a well-known anti-violence crusader with the group United Playaz, a vocal advocate to get SF Juvenile Hall closed, and even got Supervisor Hillary Ronen to write him a favorable letter to get his sentencing reduced from a prior carjacking conviction.
But 25-year-old Fernando Madrigal was leading a double life as an anti-violence advocate and a gang member, until he was arrested in 2020 for the murder of 15-year-old Day’von Hann. For that and another separate murder, Madrigal was sentenced to 33 years in prison Thursday, according to an announcement from the US District Attorney’s Office of Northern California.
But things got even more highly unusual after Madrigal’s sentencing, as the Chronicle reports a fight broke out in the hallway of the courtroom. The fight was reportedly between Madrigal’s friends and supporters and Hann’s family.
“Some woman on the other side said, ‘Fuck you and what you’re going through,’ and it was on,” Hann’s mother Sha’ray Johnson told the Chronicle. The Chron also describes that “federal security officers and marshals quelled the fighting and both sides were dispatched separately to elevators.”
In the case of the 2019 killing of the teen Day’von Hann, Madrigal had apparently mistaken the innocent Hann for a rival gang member. According to the US Attorney’s Office, “Madrigal admitted he committed these two murders in part to earn respect from other SFMD Norteños and to enhance his status in the gang.”
Yes, that’s two murders. The previous murder was the 2018 killing of Luis Garcia, whom Madrigal lured to Candlestick Park saying he wanted to buy some marijuana from Garcia, but instead just shot him and stole the weed. Per the the US Attorney, “Madrigal admitted he shot and killed the victim, disposed of the victim’s cell phone on or near the San Mateo Bridge, and dumped the victim’s body in the Oakland Hills, where it was found more than a year later.”
Two of Madrigal’s gang accomplices were also sentenced Thursday for a 2018 incident where they shot and killed one man, and shot another woman in the face. Alvaro Reina Cordero (26) and Oscar Guadron Diaz (24) were sentenced to 26 years in Cordero’s case, and 21 years in Guadron Diaz’s case.
Image: San Francisco Court House Federal building entrance with American flag (Getty Images)