|For Immediate Release
Case # 12ZF0131 June 14, 2013
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
MAN FACES TRIAL FOR STABBING-MURDER OF NEIGHBOR AND ASSAULTING SECOND VICTIM WITH METAL OBJECT
SANTA ANA – A man faces trial Monday for 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 indicted on 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. If convicted, he faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, June 17, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On the morning of Dec. 1, 2011, Vasquez is accused of waiting 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 is accused of attacking Rainwater by punching him in the back of the head. The defendant is accused of then stabbing Rainwater multiple times, nearly decapitating him. After murdering the victim, Vasquez is accused of fleeing the scene. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) began investigating this case.
On Dec. 3, 2011, Vasquez is accused of being at a friend’s residence in San Juan Capistrano. He is accused of using a metal object to hit victim Lance Lyons in the face as the victim was lying down. The defendant is accused of attempting 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.