|For Immediate Release
Case # 08CF0919
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
MAN SENTENCED TO 40 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR SHOOTING AND KILLING VICTIM OUTSIDE
OF LAKE FOREST HOME AFTER
DISPUTE OVER GIRLFRIEND
*Two co-defendants are awaiting trial in this case
SANTA ANA – A 21-year-old man was sentenced today to 40 years to life in state prison for shooting and murdering a Lake Forest man outside of his home after a dispute over a girlfriend and a vandalized car. Two co-defendants are awaiting trial in this case. Edgar Calvillo, 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.
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 April 12, 2010, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
During the jury trial, the People presented the following evidence: On the evening of March 20, 2008, Calvillo, Escamilla, and Cruz drove to the Lake Forest home of 22-year-old Luis Rivera and parked outside of the house to wait for the victim. Calvillo brought a semi-automatic rifle with him in the car. The defendants waited 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 got out of their car and approached 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.
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.
At the sentencing today, Rivera’s mother, Yolanda Rivera, gave a victim impact to the court and explained that it was a total tragedy to lose her son and watch him die in her arms. She stated that she is raising the victim’s son, who is now 3 years old. Yolanda Rivera also told the court, “My son is not dead. He’s with us.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.