Jury finds carjacker guilty of seven felonies
visalia – A Visalia man faces life in prison after stealing a woman’s car, purse, identity and her sense of personal safety while he was out on bail for a previous crime.
On June 2, a Tulare County jury convicted 23-year-old Lazarus Marquez of Visalia of kidnapping during a carjacking, assault with a firearm, carjacking, kidnapping, robbery, two counts of dissuading a witness with force, and identity theft. Each count is a felony. The jury also found true the special allegation that Marquez personally used a firearm and the court found true that he committed these offenses while out on bail.
On July 10, 2015, the victim was getting in her car in her driveway to leave for work. Marquez approached the victim, held a gun to her head, and demanded her purse, phone and wallet. When she did not act quickly enough, he ordered her out of the car at gunpoint and forced her into the backseat of the car. He drove through Visalia at a high rate of speed ultimately telling her to get out of her car in the rural outskirts of the city. Marquez threatened her that she could not report the crimes for 24 hours or he would return to her home with his friends. The victim flagged down a passerby who took her to the Visalia Police Department.
Four days later the victim’s car was located by the Bakersfield Police Department in a residential neighborhood in Bakersfield. Marquez had also attempted to use the victim’s credit card at an Oildale gas station. On August 14, 2015, police arrested Marquez at his Visalia home after the victim found him on Facebook and identified him by his pictures and unique tattoos.
Marquez is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Gary Paden at a hearing on July 14, 2017 in Department 6 of the Tulare County Superior Court, Visalia Division. Marquez faces 37 years to life in prison. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Candice Moore of the Major Crimes Division and investigated by Sgt. Gerrit DeJong of the Visalia Police Department.