Local prosecutors have charged the murder suspect recently captured in Mexico, and a judge appointed a public defender to the case.
Jose Barajas, the suspect accused of killing 18-year-old Ariana Zendejas in 2014, was recently detained by authorities in Mexico and has been charged by local prosecutors with murder, two counts of kidnapping, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, and three counts of assault with a firearm, according to court records.
The San Benito County District Attorney’s Office filed the charges July 16 along with special allegations that could enhance any possible penalties.
According to court records, Barajas, 24, had his arraignment continued Thursday and rescheduled for July 26 at 9 a.m. before Judge Steven Sanders. The judge Thursday appointed a public defender to the case.
If convicted of murder, Barajas could face up to life in prison.
Barajas had been implicated in the shooting death of the 18 year-old Hollister resident on Aug. 1, 2014. Barajas fled Hollister that night and remained a fugitive until July 12 of this year. Hollister police booked Barajas, 24, into the San Benito County Jail last Friday after Barajas was transported from Guadalajara, Mexico.
In 2017, Hollister police detectives learned specific and actionable information regarding the whereabouts of Barajas in Mexico, which they passed to the FBI. In January of 2018, HPD detectives and FBI agents confirmed that information through multiple local sources and sources abroad. That information led the FBI and Mexican law enforcement to a specific house in Guadalajara, Mexico, according to police.