The man who participated in the murder of Azahel Cruz, who was 6 when he was shot and killed on March 23, 2010 will not be re-sentenced. Monterey County District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni announced on Sept. 7 that Edmundo "Eddie" Pulido's 35-year sentence stands.
Pulido, a Norteño gang member who was convicted for his participation in Cruz’s murder, filed a re-sentencing petition in August of 2019 under California Penal Code section 1170.95, based on a law that became effective that same year.
Before this code change, people could be charged with murder even if they didn’t kill someone directly, didn’t have the intention to kill or if they were not the main participant. If the resentencing petition were granted, the prosecuting agency—in this case the Monterey County DA's Office—would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is still guilty of murder.
Pulido faced two second-degree murder sentences, one for Cruz’s murder and a second one for the murder of 18-year-old Efren Vargas in Castroville in December of 2010.
Pulido testified at trial that he knew the “pocket park” on Laurel Drive was Sureños’ territory, according to the DA. He shared he aided Bernardo "Nightmare" Camacho during the shooting by the park, which had a playground. According to the DA, Pulido said he and and Bernardo “Nightmare” Camacho agreed to shoot into the air. Pulido, who was driving, made a U-turn while Camacho shot into the park. One of the shots struck Cruz, who was at home with his mom.
On Sept. 3, Judge Rafael Vasquez ruled on Pulido's petition for resentencing and denied his request. Vasquez determined that Pulido had “acted with the intent to kill a rival Sureño gang member.” His sentence of 35 years to life stands.