GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man has been convicted of killing another man in a gang-related shooting near downtown Grand Rapids in 2019.
Raymond Barrios was found guilty Tuesday of first-degree murder in the death of Saul Espinoza and nine other counts including assault, gang membership and several weapons counts.
Barrios’ trial got underway last week. Final witness testimony happened Monday, followed by closing arguments. Jury deliberations took only about 30 minutes.
The shooting happened July 6, 2019, at the intersection of 6th Street NW and Front Avenue, across the river from Sixth Street Park. That wasn’t long after nor far from where the annual fireworks display was held. The Grand Rapids Police Department said Espinoza, 20, was already dead when officers arrived on the scene and found his body in a car that had crashed into another vehicle. An 18-year-old woman was also injured.
Court documents show Espinoza was a member of the Mexican Mob and that police believed four members of the rival Latin Kings gang surrounded his car and fired two dozen shots into it.
Barrios fled to Guatemala following the shooting, court records say. Online records show he was booked into the Kent County jail in December 2022.
Jose Jacobo, 21, plead to lesser charges last year in connection with Espinoza’s death.
Barrios’ sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29. In Michigan, first-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.