Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: What was the outcome of the home invasion and murder in south Sacramento in the mid-'90s involving, I believe, three or four suspects?
Submitted by: Mike, Elk Grove
ANSWER: David Reynoso, Cruz Avila and Pablo Cobb were convicted of first-degree murder, burglary and attempted robbery in the March 6, 1996, slaying of 21-year-old Nicholas Godinez.
According to Sacramento Superior Court online records, all three, who were in their early 20s, were sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
According to accounts in The Bee, two of the men kicked down the front door of Godinez's house in the 7700 block of 25th Street in the Meadowview area, surprising Godinez and his friend Guillermo Mayorga, who were playing video games in the front room.
Once inside, one gunman grabbed and held Mayorga. The other followed Godinez, who ran to a bedroom and got a gun as his 20-year-old girlfriend and their 10-month-old son hid.
Police said three people had guns, and each fired four or five shots. When the shooting ended, Godinez collapsed with a fatal wound in the back, and the intruders ran bleeding into the street.
Avila and Reynoso were arrested a day after the shooting after they were found at a local hospital with gunshot wounds. Cobb was arrested a few days later after homicide detectives developed information linking him to the crime.
Reynoso, 38, is incarcerated at the California Correctional Institute in Tehachapi and Cruz, 36, at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad. Cobb, 36, is at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione.
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