[UPDATED with Mistrial:] Oscar Robles Diaz Accused of Murdering Leon Abarca Torres
The 26-year-old now faces retrial later this year.
He fled on a bus after the stabbing but was arrested the next day at his workplace, Maggiano's restaurant in Costa Mesa. Prosecutors claim the stabbing was related to an earlier argument, but the defense maintains it was self-defense.
ORIGINAL POST, JUNE 2, 2009, 11:59 A.M.: Today on Navel Gazing we begin reports on local murders, which we'll update with more details as they become available. Readers, witnesses and our friendly neighborhood men and women in blue are also invited to provide any insights in the comments section or by emailing the writer of the particular item, in confidence if that's what you prefer.
Up first is the murder of 47-year-old Leon Abarca Torres of Santa Ana.
Torres, Oscar Robles Diaz and Faustino Ramirez Diaz were apparently drinking beers in the very early morning hours of Thursday, May 28, outside a residence they all used to share in the 1300 block of South Pacific Avenue, near Wilshire Avenue, in Santa Ana. Police called to the scene at 2:20 a.m. say an argument broke out, Oscar Diaz stabbed Torres "multiple times all over his body" and Faustino Diaz assisted in the attack.
Torres later died at a nearby hospital while the alleged attackers managed to flee before the cops arrived. Both were apprehended at Oscar Diaz's workplace in Costa Mesa eight hours after the initial police call and arrested on suspicion of homicide.