|For Immediate Release
Case # 06CF2031
December 2, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
GANG MEMBER CONVICTED OF SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES MURDER OF BLIND ALBINO
RUSSIAN IN PLOT WITH TWO CO-DEFENDANT
GANG MEMBERS TO STEAL CAR
*Four additional co-defendants charged with accessory after the fact
SANTA ANA – A gang member was convicted today of murdering a blind Russian albino with the help of two co-defendant gang members in a plot to steal the victim’s car and sell it for parts. Ruben Alejandro Oliveros, 27, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of first-degree murder, and the jury found the special circumstance true that the murder was committed for the benefit of a criminal a street gang. The jury also found him guilty of one felony count of street terrorism, and sentencing enhancements for vicariously discharging a firearm causing death and personally discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury. He faces a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole at his sentencing on January 9, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Co-defendants Marco Antonio Charcas-Fernandez, 23, Santa Ana, and Aurelio Fidencio Saldivar, 30, Costa Mesa, are charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder during the commission of a robbery for the benefit of a criminal street gang, one felony count of street terrorism, and a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. Charcas-Fernandez and Saldivar face a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole if convicted. Charcas-Fernandez and Saldivar are scheduled for trial Jan. 12, 2009, in Department C-35.
Co-defendants Anthony Raleigh Chargualaf, 47, Santa Ana, Jose Ramirez Muniz, 40, Santa Ana, Danny Salas Oliveros, 45, Santa Ana, and Victor Alphonse Enciso, 33, Santa Ana, are charged with one felony count of being an accessory after the fact and a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. Chargualaf pleaded guilty Jan. 1, 2007, and was sentenced to 247 days in jail and three years probation. Muniz faces pre-trial on June 16, 2009, in Department C-57. Danny Oliveros and Enciso face pre-trial on Feb. 20, 2009, in Department C-57. Muniz, Danny Oliveros, and Enciso face a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison if convicted.
Oliveros, a member of a Latino criminal street gang, plotted to steal a car with Charcas-Fernandez and Saldivar belonging to fellow gang member Raffi Yessayan. Yessayan, a Russian albino who was legally blind, owned a black Nissan sedan with custom rims and frequently had to be driven by friends in his car due to his blindness. At approximately 9:30 p.m. on June 6, 2006, Oliveros, Charcas-Fernandez, and Saldivar were driving with the victim in his car with the intention of stealing it.
While riding in the car, Yessayan became involved in a verbal argument with Oliveros. The defendant pulled the car over into a parking lot in Orange. Oliveros shot the victim once in the back of the head. When Yessayan fell to the ground, Saldivar is accused of taking the gun and shooting the victim again in the head. The three defendants are accused of leaving Yessayan in the parking lot and fleeing the scene. They are accused of stealing his car and having it dismantled to sell the parts. The victim, who turned 26 years old the day before, was discovered by joggers the following morning.
After the murder, Danny Oliveros, Ruben Oliveros’ brother, is accused of helping to destroy evidence by instructing Muniz to dismantle the car.