|For Immediate Release
May 18, 2007
Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
MURDERER SENTENCED TO 82 YEARS FOR SHOOTING 16-YEAR-OLD FRIEND IN FACE AFTER WATCHING “THE SIXTH SENSE”
SANTA ANA – Drug addict Manuel Salas, 27, Anaheim, was sentenced today to 82 years to life in prison for murdering one friend and trying to murder another by shooting them both in the face after a four day methamphetamine binge. Salas was convicted on April 16, 2007 of first 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.
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.