Santa Paulan ordered to stand trial
for 2013 Rubenís parking lot murder

October 03, 2014
Santa Paula News

A Santa Paulan accused of firing on a man who was driving away from a local bar where they had been arguing was ordered to stand trial on murder charges.

Superior Court Judge Rocky Baio found Monday there was enough evidence for Jesus Montejo Cardoso, 30, to stand trial on charges that he killed another man outside the now closed Rubenís Lounge late last year.

Cardoso, whose preliminary hearing started September 26, is facing a murder charge with a special enhancement of personally and intentionally discharging a firearm and causing great bodily injury in the death of Juan Manuel Bautista Banda, 22, of Santa Paula.

Prosecutors allege Cardoso and Banda were arguing December 22, 2013 about 1:20 a.m. in the parking lot of the bar, located in the 200 block of Garcia Street just north of East Harvard Boulevard.

When Santa Paula Police responded to separate reports of a man brandishing a gun and a vehicle accident, they found a SUV that had crashed into a pickup truck.†

The back windshield of the SUV was shattered and police found Banda dead behind the wheel from a gunshot wound to the back of the head.†

Cardoso was arrested about nine hours later at a friendís house on the 400 block of North 14th Street.

The investigation showed the two men, Mexican nationals who were working in area agriculture, had been involved in an ongoing feud and had previous fights at the bar. †

Banda was temporarily living with friends in the South Mountain Road area of Santa Paula at the time he was killed.

The homicide was Santa Paulaís sixth in 2013.

On Monday Cardoso was ordered to appear back in court October 10 for an arraignment. He remains in custody with bail set at $1 million.

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