|For Immediate Release
April 16, 2007
METHAMPHETAMINE ADDICT CONVICTED
OF MURDER FOR SHOOTING FRIEND IN THE FACE
SANTA ANA – A drug addict was convicted today of murdering one friend and trying to murder another by shooting them both in the face after a four day methamphetamine binge. Manuel Salas, 27, Anaheim, was convicted of 1st degree murder, attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, and the sentencing enhancements for the personal discharge of a firearm causing death and causing great bodily injury were found true. He faces a maximum of 82 years to life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced Friday, May 18, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On April 1, 2000, Salas, who had been using methamphetamine for four days straight and had used the drug that night, was watching the movie “The Sixth Sense” with friends Robert Ornelas, Joshua Salas (no relation), and five females at one of the women’s homes in Santa Ana. Two children, ages 2 and 4 years old, were asleep in another room of the house. While watching the movie, the defendant began to cry and went to the bathroom. When he returned to the room where his friends were sitting, he pulled out a gun and shot 16-year-old Ornelas once in the face, killing him immediately. He then shot Joshua Salas, 16, seven times in the face, chest, and stomach. The defendant fled the house and Joshua Salas, who survived the attack, called the police.
The defendant fled to Mexico, where he was later arrested with the murder weapon trying to commit a robbery. In 2005, after serving five years in a Mexican prison, he was extradited back to Orange County.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.