News Flash

Prosecuting Attorney

Posted on: June 27, 2018

Man Sentenced for 2010 Gang-Related Murder

seal-transparent

TACOMA, WA – This week Juan Ortiz, 25, was sentenced to 31 years in prison for the 2010 murder of Juan Zuniga. Ortiz was charged in 2010 but avoided capture until last year when he was arrested in Mexico and extradited to Washington.

In February, Ortiz pleaded guilty to murder in the first degree and assault in the second degree.

“Gang violence is dramatically down in Pierce County because we are convicting and sending away the most violent offenders,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist.

At sentencing, Chief Criminal Deputy Jared Ausserer represented the State.

“This was a premediated execution,” Ausserer said in court. The court agreed and imposed the sentence recommended by Ausserer.

On May 12, 2010, Tacoma Police responded to a residence on North Visscher Street regarding a shooting. When they arrived, police found two men had been shot. One of the men, identified as Juan Zuniga, 26, was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man’s injuries were not life threatening.

According to a witness, Zuniga lived at the residence. Shortly before midnight Zuniga announced that “Goofy”, later identified as Naitaalii Toleafoa, and “Weasel”, the alias used by Ortiz, were coming to the residence to pay Zuniga money owed.

The witness saw Toleafoa and Ortiz arrive at the residence on foot. They were allowed inside and went into the attached garage with Zuniga. The witness reported that within seconds the witness heard four or five shots from inside the garage. The witness saw Toleafoa run for the front door and run away. The witness also saw Ortiz walking behind Toleafoa carrying a handgun. The witness entered the garage and saw Zuniga on the ground dead.

Detectives said it appeared Zuniga had been shot several times, including what appeared to be a wound to the back of the head.

The witness was able to positively identify Ortiz through a photomontage.

Toleafoa pleaded guilty to murder in the first degree in 2014. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison.

For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, jlynch@co.pierce.wa.us.

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email

Other News in Prosecuting Attorney

seal-transparent

Six Charged in Gang-Related Homicide

Posted on: July 27, 2018
seal-transparent

Charges Amended to Murder

Posted on: July 13, 2018
seal-transparent

Man Charged with Double Murder

Posted on: June 27, 2018

A Safe Place to Learn

Posted on: April 20, 2018
seal-transparent

Man Charged with Murder and Assault

Posted on: March 13, 2018
seal-transparent

Teens Charged for Firing Gun in School

Posted on: February 27, 2018
seal-transparent

Two Charged, 20 Pounds of Meth Seized

Posted on: February 9, 2018
seal-transparent

Man Charged With Double Murder

Posted on: February 7, 2018
seal-transparent

Three Men Charged with Drive-by Shooting

Posted on: January 16, 2018
DawnMarkProBonoLeadership Award2017

Prosecutor’s Office Wins Two Awards

Posted on: January 10, 2018
adopt-a-family

Season of Giving Adopt-a-Family

Posted on: January 10, 2018

Prosecutor Lindquist to Sue Big Pharma

Posted on: December 20, 2017

Graham-Kapowsin Shooter Charged

Posted on: December 12, 2017

Woman re-charged with murder

Posted on: December 7, 2017

Never Too Cold

Posted on: November 9, 2017
seal-transparent

Man charged with murder of mother

Posted on: October 19, 2017

Man charged with multiple child sex crimes

Posted on: September 28, 2017

Man sentenced for killing homeless woman

Posted on: September 15, 2017

Homeless man murdered

Posted on: September 19, 2016