Lake County Man Indicted For Murder
SAN FRANCISCO - A federal grand jury in San Francisco has returned a superseding indictment against Jonathan Mota, 31, for murder caused by a firearm; for Hobbs Act robbery, a crime of violence; and for use and possession of a firearm in furtherance of that robbery, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag.
According to the superseding indictment, Mota is alleged to have robbed the Mount Konocti Gas & Mart on January 18, 2013. During the course of that robbery, the defendant shot and killed Forrest Seagrave.
“We take our responsibility to the residents of Lake County, and the entire Northern District of California, seriously,” said U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag. ”Therefore, when the Lake County District Attorney and Sheriff requested federal law enforcement coordination on this investigation, I am quite pleased that we were able to come together and focus the necessary resources on the investigation, and now prosecution, of this senseless violent crime.”
“ATF focuses its efforts on individuals who unlawfully possess or use firearms," said Special Agent in Charge Joseph M Riehl. “We appreciate the collaboration with Lake County Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney's Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to perfect this investigation."
“I wish to compliment all of the Lake County investigators for their dogged, non-stop efforts to bring the investigation into the murder of Forrest Seagrave to a close,” said Lake County Sheriff Francisco Rivero. “I also wish to express my deepest gratitude to the United States Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for their uncompromising assistance and resources.”
The grand jury has indicted the defendant for his possession of a separate firearm, an assault weapon, during the timeframe of the robbery. He was prohibited from possessing that weapon by virtue of his prior felony conviction for armed robbery. That felon-in-possession case is pending before U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar (case No. 13-cr-93). Motions are scheduled to be heard in that case on September 13, 2013 at 9:30 am.
The maximum statutory penalty for use/possession of a firearm in furtherance of the Hobbs Act robbery, a crime of violence, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. Section 924(c), is life imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The maximum statutory penalty for the use of the firearm resulting in murder, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. Section 924(j), is life imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 unless the Attorney General directs the U.S. Attorney to seek the death penalty, in which case the maximum statutory penalty for the murder is death. The maximum statutory penalty for Hobbs Act robbery, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. Section 1951(a), is 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The maximum statutory penalty for being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g), is 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Kathryn Haun is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of the Lake County District Attorney’s Office and with the assistance of Daniel Charlier-Smith and Kurt Kosek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The prosecution is the result of a joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Mota must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.