Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
November 20, 2009
Susan Kang Schroeder
MAN FACES MURDER TRIAL FOR SHOOTING
AND KILLING VICTIM OUTSIDE OF LAKE FOREST
HOME AFTER DISPUTE OVER GIRLFRIEND
AND VANDALIZED CAR
SANTA ANA – A 21-year-old man faces trial on Monday for shooting and murdering a Lake Forest man outside of his home with two co-defendants after a dispute over a girlfriend and a vandalized car. Edgar Calvillo, Santa Ana, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder with sentencing enhancements for murder by drive-by shooting and the personal discharge of a firearm causing death. If convicted, he faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, Nov. 23, 2009, at 10:30 a.m., in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Co-defendants Santos Escamilla, 21, Santa Ana, and Alfredo Cruz, 23, Aliso Viejo, are each charged with one felony count of murder. Each faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. Escamilla and Cruz are being held on $1 million bail and are scheduled for jury trial Jan. 11, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On the evening of March 20, 2008, Calvillo, Escamilla, and Cruz are accused of driving to the Lake Forest home of 22-year-old Luis Rivera and parking outside of the house to wait for the victim. Calvillo is accused of bringing a semi-automatic rifle with him in the car. The defendants are accused of waiting to confront Rivera because the victim had told people in the neighborhood that Calvillo, Escamilla, and Cruz had vandalized his car a week earlier over a dispute about Cruz’s girlfriend.
When Rivera arrived at his house, the three defendants are accused of getting out of their car and approaching the victim. Calvillo is accused of pointing the firearm at Rivera as Escamilla punched him. A neighbor came out of his home and tried to diffuse the attack, and the three defendants are accused of getting back in their car to leave.
As the defendants began to drive away, Calvillo is accused of pointing the firearm out of the car window and shooting several times at Rivera, hitting him once. The victim’s mother heard the shot from inside the house and ran out to find Rivera lying outside. The victim, who was father to a 17-month-old boy, died at the scene in his mother’s arms.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.