According to court documents, trial proceedings for defendants Edgar Jose Canseco and Emmanuel Mathew Mendoza, both 20 years old, are scheduled to begin with jury selection Wednesday, May 16, in San Joaquin County Superior Court. Opening statements by the prosecution and defense attorneys are expected to begin at 8:30 a.m. May 30 in Department 24.
Prosecutor Thomas Testa said the entire trial is likely to take four to five days, before the jury begins deliberations. Testa anticipates the prosecution will take between three and four days, and the defense possibly a day or less.
Defense attorneys were unavailable for comment when contacted by the Press.
According to Tracy police, Prater was shot in the evening while driving down Sixth Street with his girlfriend in the front passenger seat and defendants Mendoza and Canseco in the backseat.
When Prater stopped his car, police allege, a third man identified by police as 19-year-old James Stancampiano approached the car from the bushes and shot Prater once in the chest.
Investigators have said Mendoza and Canseco helped Stancampiano plan the attack on Prater.
Prater’s girlfriend and the three suspects fled the scene, as Prater’s foot hit the gas pedal, police have said. His car crashed into a steel fence on Sixth Street just east of Tracy Boulevard, and he was pronounced dead at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital a short time later.
Police arrested Canseco the day after the shooting, but Mendoza remained at large until Oct. 2, 2011, when Mexican authorities handed him over to a fugitive task force in Texas. Authorities said Mendoza had been hiding in Mexico since the killing.
Both defendants face a variety of charges, including murder, special circumstances of robbery, attempted robbery and street terrorism. Both men are being held without bail in San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp.
According to America’s Most Wanted, Stancampiano remains free, and could be hiding in Mexico, New York or Florida.
The Tracy Police Department has asked anyone with information about Stancampiano’s whereabouts to call 831-4550.