Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
17-YEAR-OLD CHARGED AS ADULT FOR STABBING-MURDER OF ANOTHER TEEN IN GROUP FIGHT
FULLERTON – A 17-year-old was charged as an adult yesterday for the stabbing-murder of 19-year-old man in a group fight. Ryan Nichols Coale, Anaheim, is charged with one felony count of murder and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison. Coale is scheduled to be arraigned today, March 21, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
Shortly before 7:00 p.m. on March 19, 2012, Coale is accused of being on the grounds of Sycamore Junior High School in Anaheim, playing handball with three friends while 19-year-old Edgar Cervantes played basketball with four of his friends nearby.
As Cervantes was getting ready to leave, he ran into an acquaintance with whom he’d had confrontations in the past. The acquaintance started to shout and instigate a fight with Cervantes, which led to a physical confrontation with Cervantes and his friends.
Coale is accused of joining in the fight with his friends. The defendant is accused of pulling out a small knife and stabbing Cervantes in the chest.
As the group dispersed, Cervantes’ friends noticed the victim had been stabbed and immediately transported him to Anaheim Memorial Hospital. En route, one of Cervantes’ friends called 911 and reported the stabbing to the Anaheim Police Department (APD). Cervantes succumbed to the stab wound in the hospital.
APD investigated the case. Coale was arrested yesterday, March 20, 2012.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.