Brothers Rony and Josue Castaneda have been convicted of second-degree murder, as well as assault with a deadly weapon. They received these convictions as a result of the death of Joe Melgoza, who was attacked just hours after getting married.
The wedding reception was held in the backyard of a family member’s home in Chino, California, when the uninvited Castaneda brothers showed up.
The brothers were seen dancing, taking photos, and taking part in the reception. They later returned through a trail behind the home and taunted Melgoza, telling him to jump to the other side. The brothers began hitting Melgoza and his family with bats and fists after they jumped the fence.
As one of the Castaneda brothers ran into an unrelated house, a family member pulled a bat from him. An unarmed Melgoza pursued them into the yard. Minutes later, the Castaneda brothers were seen jumping the fence of that residence with a single bat, which was never recovered.
Initially, Chino Police responded to a family member who had been injured. They later discovered Melgoza’s body in the same yard where the Castaneda brothers fled.
After suffering from blunt force trauma to the head, Melgoza died “within minutes”. Josue had told police that he was never at the reception, but authorities found a photobooth image of him and Rony posing with a female guest in his front pocket after his arrest.
Rony and Josue were convicted by a jury for Melgoza’s death. They also received charges for injuries that Melgoza’s brother, Juan Bustamonte, suffered.
They will be sentenced on March 13.