The scene unfolded Friday in the Manteca branch of San Joaquin County Superior Court.
“That’s not him. That’s not the guy that shot at me.”
According to Deputy District Attorney Donald Vaughn, shooting victims Martin Rocha and Cinthya Lizeth uttered those words to him just before Friday’s preliminary hearing began.
Vaughn said that the victims, sitting in the courtroom, told the bailiff they wanted to talk to Vaughn. He said he went over to them and both said that Lockwood was not the shooter.
The Tracy 19-year-old was charged with premeditated attempted murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm and shooting at an inhabited vehicle with enhancements of personal use of a firearm and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
He was accused of shooting at Rocha and Lizeth on Feb. 12 as the couple drove out of an apartment complex parking lot on the 2900 block of Lowell Avenue. Neither had any injuries.
After talking to the victims, Vaughn told Judge Ron Northup, “Move to dismiss (the charges) in light of the evidence,” which caused an eruption of cheers from Lockwood’s family and friends inside the courtroom.
“It wasn’t him, I knew that,” Lockwood’s mother, Jeannette, said outside the courtroom. “I knew it wasn’t my son that did it. I’m a believer, if you commit a crime, you are liable for that. I knew it wasn’t him from the beginning.
“I came in here thinking I would hear the worst news,” she added. “It’s the happiest day in my life.”
Lockwood’s girlfriend, Jenny Deperalta, said outside the courtroom that she was at a loss for words.
“I’m in shock,” she said. “I can’t believe we went through this ordeal, knowing he was innocent.”
After the decision, Vaughn said he had no reason to believe the victims were lying in their statement.
“The preliminary is to wash out issues, and in this it was an ID (issue),” he said. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t the person who did it, and fortunately, we don’t prosecute innocent people.”
Lockwood was expected to be freed from San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp later Friday.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 830-4225.