NEW DNA HIT ON 1995 BLOOD TRAIL LEADS TO SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES MURDER CHARGES ON ALREADY CONVICTED GANG MURDERER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 5, 2006 
Contact: Susan Kang Schroeder, Deputy District Attorney
714-347-8408 Office
714-292-2718 Cell
Sgt. Lorenzo Carrillo, Santa Ana Police Department
714-245-8715 Office

SANTA ANA – The Orange County District Attorney filed special circumstances murder charges on a gang member for killing an innocent man during the commission of a robbery and with a prior 2001 murder conviction.  Eloy Gonzalez, 29, is a Santa Ana street gang member and currently in the Mule Creek State Prison.  He will be arraigned in C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana, on June 2, 2006.    There will be no bail set for this case. 

If convicted of all counts, he would receive a minimum sentence of life without the possibility of parole.  The special circumstances murder charges make him eligible for the death penalty.  That determination will be made by the District Attorney at a later date.

On January 2, 1995, at 1:20 p.m., Gonzales is accused of shooting Abel Chavira, 21, of Santa Ana, several times in the area of 1200 E. McFadden, Santa Ana.  The defendant is accused of struggling with the victim during the robbery and shooting himself in the hand which later became a scar.  The defendant is also accused of murdering Mr. Chavira while trying to rob him and for the benefit of his gang.  Mr. Chavira, laid on the ground suffering and died of his wounds 30 minutes later.  The defendant is accused of leaving a bullet casing and a blood trail that went down an alleyway. 

Santa Ana Police Department’s investigation stalled back in 1995 because no one could identify who shot Mr. Chavira.  In 2006, Santa Ana Police developed new leads and on March 14, 2006, the Department of Justice linked the defendant’s DNA sample to the crime scene samples submitted by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. 

“Mr. Chavira has no gang affiliation.  He was a victim who was at the wrong place at the wrong time.  His life was cut short tragically while walking to the grocery store for a `honey-do’ for his fiancé.  She had given him $10 to buy detergent to do laundry,” stated Deputy District Attorney Alison Gyves of the Gang Unit who is prosecuting this case.   

###