DA Plans Retrial in Killing of Teens at Libby Lake Park

A mistrial was declared in the case of an Oceanside man accused in the killing of two teenagers at Libby Lake Park.

The community was shocked in March 2013 when four teenagers were found gunned down in the Oceanside community park. Edgar Sanchez Rios, 16, and Melanie Virgen, 13 died in the shooting.

Santo Diaz, 21, of Oceanside was one of four men charged in the killing. On Thursday, jurors found him not guilty on two counts of first degree murder. A mistrial was declared on two counts of attempted murder.

Prosecutor Christine Brannon said Diaz will be retried on second degree murder charges.  If convicted, he faces multiple life terms in prison. The next hearing is scheduled in four months.

Trial for co-defendants Martin Melendrez, Michael Zurita begins March 1 while Kevin Brizuela will go on trial January 11.

Prosecutors claimed Vergen and Sanchez were killed in relation to gang activity. 

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