David Arzate Cabrera Slayed Stranger on Freeway, Faces Special Circumstances: DA
See the update at the end of this post on the charges brought against David Arzate Cabrera by the district attorney (which also corrected the spelling of the last name).
ORIGINAL POST, AUG. 4, 7:03 A.M.: Remember the guy who was shot to death while riding with family members on the 91 freeway through Anaheim last month?
Courtesy of Anaheim PD David Arzate Cabrera
The Anaheim Police Department has announced an arrest has been made in the case but few other details about the circumstances.
Here's what we know at this point: Just after 7:30 p.m. on Friday, David Arzate Cabrera, 45, of Anaheim, was booked at the Anaheim Police Department Temporary Detention Facility on suspicion of murder and possessing a controlled substance and a loaded firearm. His bail is $1 million.
Two cousins were in the front and the front passenger's two sons were in the back of a white Ford F-150 that was on the westbound 91 freeway east of the 57 freeway around 8:10 p.m. July 14 when the truck's front windows shattered and Agustin Villegas slumped over and became unresponsive in the front passenger seat.
The 42-year-old driver was also struck by gunfire, but he managed to pull off to a freeway triangle, which is where first responders found 32-year-old Anaheim resident Villegas and pronounced him dead. The driver was treated for non-life-threatening wounds at a hospital. Villegas' boys, ages 13 and 15, were not harmed.
"Initial reports indicated a possible suspect vehicle description of a black or dark Honda Accord," Lt. Bob Dunn, the Anaheim Police spokesman, said at the time. "... This information is unsubstantiated as the suspect(s) are unknown and unidentified. Villegas has no known criminal ties and is the sole provider for his family. The motive for his murder is unknown."
The slain man's wife, Reyna Villegas, turned to crowdfunding to help defray funeral costs. (Go to GiveForward.com if you can help.) Agustin leaves behind four children.
GiveForward.com Reyna Villegas with her now departed husband, Agustin.
UPDATE, AUG. 4, 3:57 P.M.: David Arzate Cabrera is charged with special circumstances murder for allegedly slaying a complete stranger on the 91 freeway in Anaheim last month, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA).
The 45-year-old Anaheim resident is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder by drive-by shooting, one felony count of possession for sale of a controlled substance, one felony count of possession of a firearm by a felon, with a sentencing enhancement for the personal discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury and a prior prison conviction in 1990 for possession for sale of a controlled substance.
A conviction could send Cabrera to state prison for life without the possibility of parole. Held without bail, Cabrera was to be arriagned today but the hearing was continued to Aug. 20 in Santa Ana.
According to the OCDA:
At approximately 8:00 p.m. on July 14, 2014, Cabrera is accused of driving westbound on the 91 Freeway in Anaheim. He is accused of driving next to a pickup truck and shooting at the passenger side window of the truck, where victim 32-year-old Agustin Villegas was seated. Cabrera is accused of murdering the victim by shooting him in the head and then driving away from the scene. The victim and the defendant did not know each other.
Prosecutors give no indication of a murder, but do add an Anaheim Police Department investigation continues. Homicide detectives "followed up with leads, which led to the arrest of Cabrera on July 31," according to OCDA.