By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Man hurt in gang fight denied bond
3 of 11 suspects in country illegally
0615murder- Wilson O. Almendares
Wilson O. Almendares

The last of 11 suspects in a gang-related fight that left one man dead earlier this week made his initial court appearance Wednesday and was denied bond.

Fernando Acosta, 24, appeared before Hall County Associate Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Reisman via teleconference from the Hall County jail, where he is being held on charges of misdemeanor affray and felony violation of the Georgia street gang terrorism act.

At the request of prosecutors, Reisman denied bond initially on the felony charge. In first court appearances held on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, all 11 suspects were initially denied bond, though some will have a formal bond hearing later this week.

Acosta, an alleged member of the Sur-13 street gang, was struck by a car during a brawl with rival members of the La Onda and BOE-23 gangs early Sunday at Lenox Park apartments, according to police.

Another Sur-13 member, 23-year-old Daniel Adame, was killed when he was struck by a 1993 Mercury Villager.

The alleged driver of the minivan, BOE-23 member Juan Francisco Villanueva, is in custody on charges of murder and aggravated assault.

While Acosta was struck by the car, he is charged with fighting with others in a public area and participating in criminal street gang
activity involving a crime of violence.

On Wednesday, Acosto’s attorney asked for a $5,000 bond on the felony charge.

“My client is a U.S. citizen, he’s only 25, he was seriously injured in the attack, and he needs to get out as soon as possible so they can look after his injury,” attorney Arturo Corso said.

According to court documents, of the 11 people charged in Sunday’s gang melee, three are non-citizens who are in the country illegally.

Villanueva is a Mexico native who has an immigration hold placed on him.

Wilson O. Almendares, 19, an El Salvador native, and Efrain Diaz, a Meico native, are also illegal immigrants, according to jail records.

The remaining eight suspects have no immigration holds. Two were born in Georgia and two were born in New York.

One 15-year-old suspect has not been charged as an adult and his name has not been released by police.

After a period of seven years without a homicide attributed to gangs, Hall County has seen three gang-related killings in the past 10 months.

Authorities believe two of the three homicide victims were gang members. A 67-year-old Gainesville man was killed in March during what authorities say was a home invasion robbery by gang members from Athens.