Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAINTENANCE MAN CONVICTED OF
SHOOTING-MURDER OF 67-YEAR-OLD AFTER BECOMING ANGRY OVER LOSING HUNDREDS OF
DOLLARS IN ILLEGAL GAMBLING GAME
SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of shooting and murdering a 67-year-old man after becoming angry about losing hundreds of dollars gambling at an apartment complex where he worked as maintenance man. Franco Edgar Neftali, 44, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of murder and the sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death was found true. He faces a maximum of 50 years to life in state prison at his sentencing on May 7, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. in Department C-39, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2007, Neftali was illegally gambling at Bishop Manor, a Santa Ana apartment complex where he worked as a maintenance man. Neftali and several others were illegally gambling in a Cambodian dice game. After ten minutes of gambling, the defendant became angry that he lost hundreds of dollars and left.
Ten minutes later Neftali returned to the apartment with a firearm. The defendant banged on the door, entered the residence and pulled out a gun, and pointed it at the occupants. Neftali then asked who was the “big dealer,” or the person responsible for holding the money. The defendant then shot 67-year-old Son Neou in the head, murdering him. The defendant then fled the scene and hid the firearm in the rafters of a sauna room within the complex. Witnesses called 9-1-1.
Santa Ana police arrested the defendant minutes later outside of the apartment complex.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Scott Simons of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.