A jury has convicted a man of murder and conspiracy to commit a crime in the death of a developmentally disabled man who was shot while riding his bike in San Diego’s Lincoln Acres area four years ago.
Juan Ignacio Gomez, now 24 years old, was found guilty Wednesday of killing Jordan Hickey, 21, on April 29, 2011. Prosecutors argue Gomez committed the crime just for the thrill of it.
The defendant faces life in prison without parole at his April 24 sentencing.
"They knew what the consequences were when they went out hunting, and that's what they did," said Hickey's mother Jeannine. "They hunted and massacred my son for nothing. So yes, they deserve to stay where they are for the rest of their lives."
Hickey, who was diagnosed with a developmental disability, was fatally shot as he rode his bicycle along Grove Street.
Jeannine said though he was 21, Hickey could not handle the 4th of July because of the loud noises.
"He would scream if a balloon popped, so I can't even imagine the screams that came from my son when the gun was going off," she said.
For nearly a year, no suspects were arrested in the murder as Hickey’s family members and detectives asked for the public’s help in solving the cold case.
In March 2012, Gomez was arrested in Chula Vista in connection with the shooting. A second suspect, Humberto Emanuel Galvez, was also arrested.
In July 2012, Jeannine came face-to-face in court with the suspects. Overwhelmed with emotion, the mother yelled profanities at Gomez and Galvez as details of the crime were revealed. She had to be escorted out of the courtroom.
Meanwhile, Galvez – now 22 years old and also charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit a crime – is scheduled to appear in court on April 3.