|For Immediate Release
Case # 12ZF0131 June 27, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MAN CONVICTED OF STABBING-MURDER OF NEIGHBOR AND ASSAULTING SECOND VICTIM WITH METAL OBJECT
SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of murdering his mobile home park neighbor by stabbing him to death and assaulting a second victim two days later. Robert Eugene Vasquez, 36, San Juan Capistrano, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of special circumstances murder by lying in wait, one felony count of aggravated assault, and sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury. He faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole at his sentencing Aug. 23, 2013, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On the morning of Dec. 1, 2011, Vasquez waited outside of the home of his neighbor, Bobby Ray Rainwater, Jr., with the intention of murdering him because the victim was a registered sex offender. When the victim left his home, Vasquez attacked Rainwater by punching him in the back of the head. The defendant then stabbed Rainwater multiple times, nearly decapitating him. After murdering the victim, Vasquez fled the scene. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) began investigating this case.
On Dec. 3, 2011, Vasquez was at a friend’s residence in San Juan Capistrano. He used a metal object to hit victim Lance Lyons in the face as the victim was lying down. The defendant attempted to hit the victim a second time, but was stopped by Lyons’ brother. The victim survived but suffered major injuries to his nose and mouth.
Occupants in the home called 911 and OCSD arrested Vasquez that day. In the course of their investigation, OCSD determined that Vasquez was also responsible for the murder of Rainwater.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.