Surviving gang member pleads not guilty in fatal Apple Store Otay Ranch burglary attempt

“A 25-year-old documented gang member pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges Wednesday stemming from a burglary attempt at an Apple Store in Chula Vista that ended with one man dead in a shootout with a security guard,” Greg Moran reports for The San Diego Union-Tribune.

“Johnny Chenda faces many other charges, including conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, attempted robbery and being a felon in possession of a gun, said Deputy District Attorney Carlos Varela,” Moran reports. “Chenda was ordered held on $500,000 bail.”

Moran reports, “A second person arrested in the Monday morning incident at the Otay Ranch Town Center, 21-year-old Melissa Ortiz, was not charged Wednesday. Varela declined to explain why she was not being prosecuted… Chenda is scheduled to return to court on May 11. He faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison, Varela said, if convicted of all of the charges.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Brawndo Drinker,” Lynn W.,” and “Sarah” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Police identify burglary suspect killed in Apple Store shootout – April 6, 2011
1 killed in shot to head, 2 arrested in shootout at Apple Store Otay Ranch – April 4, 2011
Apple Store Otay Ranch in Chula Vista, California Grand Opening: Friday, October 27 – October 26, 2006


  1. Chances are she became the informer, in a plea bargan deal. Maybe she stayed in the car the whole time. Her now dead boyfriend made her go along for the ride, to impress her. She can now get away from the gang. She’s going into witness protection program. Her new name will be Amanda Lopez.

  2. “documented gang member?”

    Is there some kind of gang member registry like the sex offenders one? I wanna make sure I’m not living next door to one.

    1. Many municipalities have gang registries. In some cases they may be available for public inspection; you can call your local PD, ask for someone in the gang unit, and ask.

      1. So much for the Constitutionally protected freedom to associate. Want to bet this “registry” is full of people who merely know gang members and aren’t themselves involved in any criminal activity?

        I’m by no means in favor of gangs, but if the solution is the police committing crimes I’ll take the gangs, thank you very much.

        1. “Want to bet this “registry” is full of people who merely know gang members and aren’t themselves involved in any criminal activity?” Those would be known as gang affiliates, or associates, etc. Almost all of the registries are filled in with individuals who are arrested and have either gang tattoos, or some other form of permanent markings which tie them to a specific gang.

  3. What the robbers did was incredibly stupid as well as illegal, but I’m shocked by comments suggesting that they simply be locked up for life. Friends, you’d be singing a different tune if your own children were mixed up in this. People who commit serious crimes deserve to be punished, but this “lock them up and throw away the key” mentality is scary and stupid. If this ignorant, black-and-white attutude is any indication of how the younger generation looks at these matters, this country is in very deep trouble.

  4. Not to sound racist but seriously why do we allow this trash in from south of the border. Hope I didn’t ruffle any feathers.

    Why do we allow Mexican trash like this into our country.

    1. Because we live in a free country. It seems as if some people want us to live in a police state so long as the police don’t come for them. Unfortunately, if you give the cops/military that much power very quickly they are the ones running the country. See: Federalist Papers (USA founders’ documents) for extended discussions on this very issue.

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