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Two Murder Suspects Arrested In Redding
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Two more suspects wanted in the murder of Chaz Bettencourt of Riverbank were arrested in Redding on Sept. 13 and are due to face arraignment in Stanislaus County Superior Court this week.

Fourteen-year-old Turlock Diaz of Turlock and Daniel Pantoja, 18, of Riverbank were taken into custody after Shasta County Sheriff's Department deputies and Redding Police officers spotted a person matching the description of Pantoja and surrounded the house into which he had fled.

A third suspect in the case, Jah-Kari Phyall, 15, of Turlock was arrested on Aug. 12 in Modesto and is currently being held in the Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall in Modesto.

All three face charges of homicide and carjacking with criminal gang enhancements for the slaying of Bettencourt on Aug. 5 outside a gas station mini-mart at Oakdale and Patterson roads.

Despite their youth, Diaz and Phyall will be tried as adults, prosecutors said in filing felony charges on Sept. 15.

According to the police report, Bettencourt and a friend had driven in the friend's car to the mini-mart to get a soda shortly after 12:30 a.m. that night. In the parking lot, they were accosted by three teens who demanded their car keys. When the friend ran back into the mini-mart to ask the clerk to call 911, the teens attacked Bettencourt, shot him several times and fled.

Deputy District Attorney Tom Brennan said all three defendants face sentences of 75 years to life if convicted of carjacking and murder.

Diaz and Pantoya were due to be arraigned last Wednesday before Judge Scott Steffen but the judge postponed the hearing to give Diaz time to hire a private attorney. All three suspects are being held on bail of $4 million.

Anyone with additional information about this case is encouraged to contact Detective McQueary at (209) 525-7099. Callers can also leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Tipsters can also e-mail tips at, or text them to CRIMES (274637) by typing "Tip704" plus the message. Tipsters are eligible for a cash reward.