|For Immediate Release
Case # 08CF0919
December 10, 2010
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
MAN FACES TRIAL FOR MURDERING VICTIM OUTSIDE
OF LAKE FOREST HOME AFTER DISPUTE
OVER HIS GIRLFRIEND
*Two co-defendants have been convicted in this case
SANTA ANA – A 24-year-old man faces trial Monday for the murder of a Lake Forest man outside of the victim’s home after a dispute over the defendant’s girlfriend and a vandalized car. Two co-defendants have been convicted and sentenced in this case. Alfredo Cruz, Aliso Viejo, is charged with one felony count of murder and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison if convicted. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-44, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
Co-defendant Edgar Calvillo, 22, Santa Ana, was found guilty by a jury Nov. 25, 2009, of 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. He was sentenced to 40 years to life in state prison Feb. 26, 2010. Co-defendant Santos Escamilla, 22, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty Aug. 27, 2010, to one felony count each of voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault and was sentenced to 15 years in state prison.
On the evening of March 20, 2008, Cruz is accused of driving Calvillo and Escamilla to the Lake Forest home of 22-year-old Luis Rivera and parking outside of the house to wait for the victim. Calvillo brought 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 pointed 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 got back in their car to leave.
Cruz is accused of being the driver. As the defendants began to drive away, Calvillo pointed the firearm out of the car window and shot 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.