VICTORVILLE An Apple Valley gangster pleaded no contest in the 2008 shooting death of a 17-year-old Sultana High School football player, becoming the last of four defendants to take the prosecution's offer.


Steve Martinez, 32, pleaded no contest Thursday morning in Victorville court to the voluntary manslaughter of Steven Gonzales. Martinez also admitted to using a gun and committing the crime to benefit a gang.


Judge Eric Nakata accepted the plea agreement, and Martinez is expected to be sentenced to 25 years in prison when he returns to court March 9.


According to witness testimony during the preliminary hearing, Martinez's co-defendant, Jose Antonio Acosta, "sucker punched" the victim at a birthday party in Apple Valley in April 2008. The two got into a fight and 6-foot-3 Gonzales won.


Afterwards, Acosta's half-brother, Mathew James Santos, shot Gonzales in the chest with a shotgun while Martinez and other defendants were present, according to witnesses.


Santos, who was 16 at the time of the incident, pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree murder and is scheduled to be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison March 8.


Acosta, 28, and Gabriel Anthony Adams, 21, pleaded guilty in 2010 to voluntary manslaughter, use of a gun and participation in a criminal street gang. They were sentenced to 25 years in prison.


Sheriff's officials said the victim was not involved in any gang-related activity.


Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.