Defendant Alexander Balbuena, age 16, was a member of the Richmond Sur Trece (“RST”) criminal street gang. RST was having problems with the notorious MS 13 street gang. On January 16, 2006, MS 13 gang members shot and killed an RST gangster by the name of Luis Ochoa, also known as “Gizmo.” Defendant and other RST gang members were out for revenge. The next day—January 17th—Jose Segura was sitting in his car with his girlfriend, Oralia Giron, and their two children (ages three years and three months), only two blocks away from the previous day’s murder. Neither was a gang member although Giron’s two brothers belonged to MS 13. Several men surrounded Segura’s car; one of them telling Segura that they wanted revenge for Gizmo’s murder. That man then shot into the car, killing Segura and seriously wounding Giron. (Miraculously, neither child was hit.) Witnesses told police that defendant and another RST gang member, Julius Stinson (a.k.a; Jujakas), were seen running from the scene into a nearby residence carrying pistols. Following up on this information eventually led officers to defendant’s apartment where, armed with a search warrant, they found defendant asleep with his pregnant girlfriend. The murder weapon was also found and impounded. Defendant was taken to the police station for questioning. In a 90-minute videotaped interview, defendant eventually (after initial denials) confessed to having been the shooter (see below). Charged in state court as an adult, and with his videotaped confession being used in evidence against him, defendant was convicted by a jury of the first degree murder of Segura, the attempted murder of Giron, and street terrorism, plus related allegations. He was sentenced to 82-years-to-life. Defendant’s conviction was upheld on appeal in an unpublished decision (People v. Balbuena (May 5, 2010) First Appellate District, Division Two, No. A122043), although his sentence was reduced to 72-years-to-life. The California Supreme Court denied review. Defendant thereafter filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the federal district court, arguing, among other things, that the admission of his confession violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause in that his statements were obtained in violation of Miranda and by coercion, and were thus involuntary. The district court denied defendant’s habeas petition (Balbuena v. Biter (N.D. Cal., May 25, 2012) 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73302.) He appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.