Man sentenced to 45 years for first-degree murder

RIVERSIDE – A Soboba Indian who gunned down a fellow tribesman following a traffic dispute was sentenced today to 45 years to life in prison.

Joseph Antonio Resvaloso, 25, was convicted March 29 of first-degree murder and sentence-enhancing allegations of using a firearm during a felony and shooting from a motor vehicle.

On New Year’s Day 2003, Resvaloso shot 41-year-old Mark Walker multiple times outside the victim’s house.

According to trial testimony, the two men almost collided in their pickup trucks while driving on the Soboba Reservation, near San Jacinto, a short time before the fatal attack.

Walker was intoxicated and ran Resvaloso off the street, prompting the defendant to chase the victim back to his residence on Castile Canyon Road, the reservation’s main drag, according to prosecutors.

When Walker stopped his pickup, Resvaloso pulled alongside and opened fire with a semiautomatic Tech 9 handgun, which resembles an Uzi, killing Walker on the spot, according to testimony.

Defense attorney Karen Lockhart argued that Walker and Resvaloso had a long-running feud and that Walker had been harassing the defendant, who fired on the victim only after being shot at himself.

Resvaloso’s first trial, in June 2009, ended in a mistrial after jurors deadlocked 7-5 in favor of guilt.

Lockhart requested that Riverside County Superior Court Judge Rafael Arreoloa reduce her client’s verdict to voluntary manslaughter based on evidence there was no planning involved in the shooting, but the judge denied the motion.

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