|For Immediate Release
October 21, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Cell: 714-292-2718Farrah Emami
PAROLE DENIED FOR INMATE CONVICTED OF 1986 FAMILY FEUD REVENGE KILLING
SANTA ANA – The Board of Parole Hearings (Board), California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, denied the parole today for an inmate convicted of shooting and killing a man in 1986 over a family feud. Odon Borja, 56, formerly of Cypress, is currently being held at Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego, CA. Borja was sentenced Jan. 23, 1987, to 25 years to life in state prison for one felony count each of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The special circumstance of the personal use of a firearm during the commission of a murder was found true. Edward Munoz was the former deputy district attorney assigned to prosecute this case.
Orange County Deputy District Attorney Elisabeth McKinley appeared at the hearing to oppose Borja’s parole. The Board denied Borja’s parole because he still poses an unreasonable risk to public safety. Borja will be eligible for his next parole hearing in 2014.
Facts of the Case
In December 1983, during a festival in the city of Acapulco, Mexico, the brothers of Borja and Gumaro Pineda got into a heated argument. Later that night, Borja’s three brothers killed Pineda’s three brothers as they were walking home from the festivities. A family friend of the Pineda’s observed the murders and was later murdered as well. Borja’s father was also killed. These murders all occurred within a week’s time. Almost three years later, on the evening of April 16, 1986, while sharing drinks, Borja’s cousin Juan Cruz Torres urged the inmate to avenge his father’s death. The inmate was living in Orange County at the time. They took two weapons, a .38 caliber pistol and a long barrel .22 caliber pistol, with nearly 100 rounds of ammunition and set out for a strawberry field where another Pineda brother was known to work.
On the morning of April 17, 1986, then-30-year-old Borja and 22-year-old Torres drove to the strawberry field at the southwest corner of Katella Avenue and Valley View Street in the City of Cypress. They parked the vehicle on a dirt driveway and approached the field on foot. Torres pointed out the victim, Gumaro Pineda, 33, who was working as a laborer. Borja called out the victim’s name from less than 15 feet away and when Pineda rose to face him, Borja fired his .38 caliber pistol multiple times, shooting the victim. The unarmed Pineda fell to the ground. As the victim lay wounded, Borja walked closer and fired several more shots, murdering Pineda as a result of four bullet wounds to his head, chest and back. Torres and Borja began to leave the field, firing their pistols into the air and at the crowd of more than 100 workers.
Borja and Torres attempted to flee the scene and led Cypress Police Department (CPD) officers on a vehicle chase. After five miles of pursuit, the two were captured and arrested. Borja, who had been driving, was found to have a blood alcohol content of .14 percent. During the investigation by CPD, details regarding the motivation for the killing were uncovered through witness statements given by 10 of the field workers, some of them whom were friends of Pineda from Mexico.