Robert Eugene Vasquez Guilty of Brutal Murder of Neighbor His Mom Said Was a Child Molester

Categories: 2011 Homicides

robert-eugene-vasquez_150.jpg
A 36-year-old man was convicted today of murdering--and nearly decapitating--his neighbor at a San Juan Capistrano mobile home park because the killer's mother wrongly outed the victim as a child molester.

Robert Eugene Vasquez, who a jury today also found guilty of assaulting a second man while on the run, faces life without the possibility of parole at his Aug. 23 sentencing in Santa Ana.

Vasquez waited in the bushes outside Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr.'s home the morning of Dec. 1, 2011, to kill the registered sex offender whose crime, despite what Vasquez's mother had said, did not involve children. Rainwater, who helped people around the park with chores, had also said something to Vasquez's girlfriend, who could not make it out but said she felt uncomfortable.

bobby-ray-rainwater_150.jpg
Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr., R.I.P.
When 54-year-old Rainwater stepped out of the mobile home he shared with his parents for a smoke, Vasquez jumped him, punched the back of his head and then stabbed him several times.

The attacker fled, and when Orange County sheriff's deputies arrived, Rainwater's head was only barely attached to the body.

Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr., 2011 OC Homicide No. 57: Body Found Outside His Mobile Home

Two days later, Vasquez was at the San Juan Capistrano home of his friend Lance Lyons. Vasquez went uninvited into the room of the 44-year-old's grandmother, who did not recognize the man and told her grandson the encounter spooked her. Lyons told Vasquez not to go into grandma's room anymore, which prompted Vasquez to pick up a metal mallet and smash in his friend's face.

Vasquez had to be stopped by Lyons' brother from taking a second swing. The first strike had already caused major injuries to Lyons' nose and mouth.

It was revealed during the trial that Vasquez left San Juan Capistrano for refuge in the homes of childhood friends in San Clemente, where one eventually turned him in. He was arrested the same day as the Lyons' attack, and investigators soon linked him to the earlier murder of Rainwater.

The defense did not dispute Vasquez killed Rainwater, but attorneys argued for a conviction on lesser than first-degree murder.

Besides the false accusation from Vasquez's mother, a sexual assault victim, neighbors had warned him to lock his doors because of Rainwater, defense attorneys said in court.

"I like to try to protect my family. ... He's not going to go in there and rape my [expletive] chick," Vasquez had explained to investigators.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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13 comments
localscchick
localscchick

I went to High School with Robert. I can"t believe it!


Casper1974
Casper1974

vegandawg23- How do you know he ruined a life?  You do not know the facts of the case so why are you passing judgement?  I'm with you sanchosurfer01 Civil Law Suit...the mother still lives next door!! She should be ashamed.  Bob was a good man! And will live in my heart forever!  Love and light Bob!

sanchosurfer01
sanchosurfer01

Repeat after me "Civil Law Suit" against mother, I think so, Sounds as if Mommy and little Robbie both screwed  themselves now!!!

They are worried and falsely accuse some guy who served his time and has been clean for over 34 years, so sad. Bend over you two here it comes :)

Wrks4me
Wrks4me

He was my FRIEND!!! He wasn't a pervert nor a rapist!!! He was my friend, my neighbor, was loved by many in the park. His hateful lying mother Margo went around spreading false accusations and then unleashed a unstable man on Bobby by filling her drug induced son's mind with nothing but lies. I noticed nothing was mentioned about how his own MOTHER was afraid of him. I personally think she should be charged with inciting and conspiracy to commit murder. Oh and by the way, he never tried to pick up on his girlfriend, I can't believe some people and how you can assume the victim was to blame. I suppose you will also blame his friend Lance Lyons for getting his face smashed in by this maniac because Lance was protecting his own grandmother from this monster Robert Vasquez. 

oncefallendotcom
oncefallendotcom

This is why the police should be checking up on these pop-up vigilante groups. It seems to be a common problem not just in the OC but everywhere. A lot of them make threats of violence regularly. 

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

His heart was in the right place. Guy was a sex offender prevert. Doubt we lost the cure for cancer here. Shouldn't go around talking to women who are taken anyways. Especially if you're a registered sex offender. 

dale_c
dale_c

Good luck protecting your family now dummy

John Hald
John Hald

Haha fucking idiot. Someone like him who we know did the crime should just be stabbed and thrown in the trash. Eye for an eye buddy

choward465
choward465

Premeditated, first degree murder. Nothing less. The fact that this guy thought he was killing a child molester because he listened to idiot gossip from his idiot mother does not make it any less so. 

sanchosurfer01
sanchosurfer01

Thank you Caasper1974, I also am a strong believer in an eye for an eye, but that is for GOD to decide not a human sinner who in my book is just as evil or even worse.  FYI-I do know the facts and not that its okay because what happend was wrong and he should have been punished as he was, it was not a "rape charge" it was an "attempted" so if you are or think you are going to state the facts or think you have the facts at least get them correct. No one who has done there time to sociaty and paid for there young drunken, drugged out mistaks in life should have there life brutalliy taken, after making an attempt to change for the better, I am not saying he was purfect in your or my eyes, but in sociaties eye's he was clean and stayed out of prison and did not commit a crime for 34 years! RIP...Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr. and may God be with you and look after your soul!

vegandawg23
vegandawg23 topcommenter

@oncefallendotcom What are you on about? What group? It was one guy. Prevert former attempted rapist tried to pick up his girl and got dealt with. 

sanchosurfer01
sanchosurfer01

Some people, just by hearing them talk you can tell how stupid and ignorent they really are! lol

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