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Articles Posted in Murder

A strange and chilling sentence to a murder occurred just two days ago, a case involving immense amounts of cruelty and insanity. Anthony Estrada, a 44 year-old resident in a home on Huron Avenue, brutally murdered his girlfriend of 14 years while simultaneously attempting to trap her two daughters in their rooms. Estrada stabbed his girlfriend, 46 year-old Margaret Pappas, in the chest and then in the head – over and over again. He then covered her corpse with a pile of laundry and lit it on fire, burning the room and her body. Estrada lit three fires in the house and left the premises, but before doing so he placed chairs in front of Pappas’ daughters rooms; luckily, they escaped the flaming, burning house safely. After Estrada exited the house, he walked to Clairemont High School, asking school administrators if they were police officers – obviously exhibiting odd behavior and perception. He stood there in front of them and stated “I just killed my girlfriend…I’m tired of running.” He was then taken into custody, and recently pleaded guilty to second degree murder and arson. He was sentenced to 21 years to life in prison, just two days ago on June 4, 2014; the crime occurred on February 6, 2012.

One of the daughters, Brenda Gould, told a tale of bizarre acts Estrada had begun to show in the weeks before the murder. He insisted people were watching him, showing signs of extreme paranoia. She attempted to take him to a nearby hospital to be treated, but he refused. The daughters were present in the courtroom where the sentencing commenced, but even though he was sentenced to a long stint in prison, they still feel betrayed in their hearts.


A relationship gone wrong ended with the tragic death of 31 year-old Victor Saucedo, who was murdered inside of his own apartment. This unfortunate event occurred on October 16, 2012, but just yesterday the judge presiding over the case ruled that the victim’s ex-girlfriend must stand trial for murder. The ex-girlfriend, 25 year-old Vegas Bray, allegedly had been stalking Victor Saucedo ever since their non-mutual breakup back in late 2011, going as far as to commit random acts of vandalism to get back at him. The ex-couple had originally started dating in 2010, after the two met while serving in the Navy; only having dated approximately a year. Jealousy was the cause of their break-up, fueling Vegas Bray’s aggressive and persistent behavior an entire year later, stalking Saucedo the entire time. Bray couldn’t handle the fact Saucedo had a child with another woman, eventually pushing Saucedo over the edge enough to end the relationship. After the break-up, things went downhill fast. Bray’s vandalism to Saucedo’s possessions include popping his car’s tires and smearing peanut butter all over the front door to his home – even going so far as to chase him down when he changed apartments to escape her behavior. The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was a conversation between the two at his apartment the night before the murder, where there was talk of giving the relationship another shot; Saucedo declined the possibility. Bray didn’t leave his apartment until the next morning, but later returned with a .38 caliber revolver and unleashed her rage upon defenseless Saucedo, shooting him an astonishing nine times, leaving a bloody scene in her wake. Afterward, she called 911, claiming Saucedo had committed suicide – obviously thinking they were naive enough to believe a person could shoot themselves nine times without dying halfway through (or being able to angle it towards oneself, for that matter). The presiding judge ruled there is enough evidence to proceed with Bray standing trial, with her superior court date set for June 12.

“Trial Ordered For Woman In Murder of Ex-boyfriend” – Fox 5, San Diego

Heavy metal fans wept last Friday, May 16th, as the lead singer of As I Lay Dying, Timothy Lambesis, was sentenced to six years in prison. Lambesis was caught in the midst of forming a plan to have his wife murdered by a hired hit man, after their marriage had become a war zone. Lambesis was allegedly angry that his wife, Meggan Lambesis, would be getting a huge portion of his income in a divorce settlement – along with being able to restrict his visits with their three adopted children. Lambesis was first heard mentioning such a plan in the gym, where another gym member kept hearing him repeat his desire to “kill his wife.” Luckily for her, this person took the threats they overheard seriously and went to the sheriff’s department seeking help with the matter. The sheriff’s department was able to act accordingly and have it in place to where the next person Lambesis approached with his murderous ideals would be the undercover sheriff himself. When the sinister singer approached the undercover detective, thinking he was a hit man for hire, he handed him pictures of his wife, codes to her home alarm system and a measly $1,000. Timothy Lambesis was then taken into custody, his wife fortunately being unharmed in the process. Meggan’s father, however, isn’t convinced – he requested additional protection for his daughter in the future now that Timothy has a prison alibi to finish the deed he attempted to start. The judge who sentenced Timothy Lambesis to his next six years in prison agreed, granting Meggan and the children a decade of protection. Lambesis’ defense attorney is stating that the event was isolated, out of character and a result of steroid use.

As I Lay Dying was formed in San Diego in the year 2000. The band was nominated for a grammy back in 2008.


On April 19, in San Diego, 26-year-old Mario Castaneda-Carranza made a horrible decision that cost him the lives of his friends. He chose to operate his vehicle, a ’97 Nissan Sentra, under the influence of alcohol. It’s surprising he chose to drive inebriated, considering he has a previous DUI from 2007 on his lengthy criminal record.

Carranza was driving too fast – 70mph – on I-8 at 7:30am, when he swayed to the center divider, only to lose control of his vehicle when he tried to swerve back to the road. His ’97 Nissan plowed through a chain link fence and smashed into a concrete culvert, killing both of his friends; two 20 year olds, Carlos Kristopher Vargas and Monica Lupercio. The two had met recently and kindled a relationship – only to meet a tragic end due to the poor decision making skills of their friend behind the wheel.

Carranza will have plenty of time to mull over his actions, as he miraculously survived the crash. He was hurt during the impact, sustaining major injuries, and was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital. CHP officials have announced that Carranza is faced with multiple charges – felony DUI resulting in deaths, vehicular homicide involving alcohol, murder and his previous DUI conviction – which doesn’t help his case, either.

Early this morning around 2am, tragedy struck as a San Diego cab driver’s taxi was impaled by another driver going the wrong way in southbound lanes on interstate 5. The reckless driver did not stop and successfully fled the scene in an extreme hit-and-run. The cab driver was able to get out of his mangled car, but was devastatingly hit by another driver – who also fled the scene of a second hit-and-run. The cab driver sustained severe injuries that he later died from; a heartbreaking result to horrible circumstances. The cab driver’s vehicle, a green and yellow taxi, was smashed into a retaining wall off of the freeway; interstate 5 in Old Town, as mentioned earlier.

Authorities commenced the search for the two MIA hit-and-run drivers, and were thankfully able to locate the driver who was driving the opposite direction on the freeway. The suspect is a 42 year old woman from Pheonix, AZ, who was apparently operating her vehicle under the influence of alcohol. When authorities located her, she was arrested and detained on felony drunk driving charges. The motorist who hit the cab driver as he stepped out of his vehicle, however, has not been located as of today. Authorities are still vigorously searching for this driver – who is essentially responsible for vehicular manslaughter – to bring closure to this case.


A neighbor called 911 after she heard the sounds of a dangerous altercation outside of the home of Graham Downes, a San Diego architect. When police arrived, they found a bloody scene of violence – Downes laying unresponsive on the ground with his assailant drunkenly resting on his dead body.

The attacker was Higinio Salgado, one of Downes’ employees. Earlier that evening, Downes and some of his employees met up at a bar – including Salgado – where trouble was already starting to brew. According to the others present at the bar, Salgado was beginning to become ‘loud’ and ‘obnoxious,’ even insulting one of the female employees with them. Somehow, the party continued on to Downes’ San Diego home. As told by one of the individuals present, an argument started when a man’s name, another employee not at the gathering, came up in conversation. Salgado began raging at his boss, expressing his discontent and hatred for the man mentioned, asserting that he “better not take his job.” The others present were able to diffuse the situation and change the subject, but stated that Salgado “couldn’t let it go.”

Later that night, when the women had gone home, Salgado continued yelling and soon became violent. He was heavily intoxicated and began beating on his boss, inflicting blunt force trauma up to 21 times. Salgado’s blood alcohol level was around 2.0 at the time of the incident, over twice the legal driving limit for the state of California.

The man responsible for the death of a young 10-year-old boy in Miramar Ranch, San Diego has been ordered to stand trial on the felony charges of involuntary manslaughter, criminal storage of a firearm, and child endangerment. According to prosecution, the owner of the gun, 56-year-old Todd Francis, had the gun stored in a negligent manner and had the gun loaded prior to the accidental shooting. Francis is currently out on bail as he awaits his conviction, which could be years of prison time. The young boy, Eric Klyaz, was playing with Francis’ daughter in the garage of Francis’ home when the incident occurred, around 4:15 p.m. on June 4th of this year. Repairing a nearby garage door at the time of the accident, Mark Jones testified that he heard the shot along with the screams of a young girl. At this time he ran over to find Eric lying on the garage floor with a gunshot wound on his chest and surrounded by boxes, furniture, and other items. Jones stated, “There was a gun. It was sitting on a sofa on top of what looked like some laundry.” He also told authorities who arrived at the scene that the hammer on the gun was pulled back. San Diego police Officer present at the scene, Vito Messineo, testified that he spoke to both the young girl and to Francis later on. According to Messineo, Francis told him the gun had been hidden and he was sure it was not loaded, stating, “If that kid dies, I don’t want to live anymore.” At the San Diego Superior Court hearing, the young girl attended with her mother and a dog used to comfort young witnesses, however declined to take the oath due to her traumatized and despondent nature. Francis’ criminal defense attorney aggressively argued that the evidence provided was exceedingly inadequate to support the claims against her client. Despite her argument and no testimony from the young girl, Judge Peter Deddeh later resolved that enough evidence was presented during the preliminary hearing to send the case to trial.

In the beginning of the hearing, Deputy District Attorney Mathew Dix presented several facts regarding the case that both the prosecution and the defense agree with, one of these being that a deputy medical examiner had determined that Eric was shot at intermediate range and it is unlikely he had shot himself. Francis’ wife, Susan, testified at the hearing as well, along with her teenage son who was at the house at the time of the accident. Susan told the court that she had asked her teenage son to watch his younger sister that afternoon while she ran errands. She was gone for a short time when her son called urging her to come home. Her teenage son testified to the court that he was upstairs in the family’s town home when police contacted him. He told them he didn’t know that his little sister had been playing with her friend Eric and that it was common for the children in their neighborhood to play together in their open garages. Assigned as the detective on the case, Brett Burkett spoke with Francis’ daughter while he was testing the children’s hands for gunshot residue, in an attempt to determine who fired the gun. Burkett said the young girl told him she may have but she was unsure, and found gunshot residue on her hands. At a later time, the young girl told a social worker that she and Eric were both playing with and looking at the gun when it fired off and that she did not put any bullets into it. All together, this case is an unfortunate and devastating situation that could very well have been prevented.


After what seems like a concurring of legal issues, most recent the arrest of Aaron Hernandez, linked to the National Football League over recent years, there is a rising sense among NFL followers that teams should be holding their players to a higher standard of overall character. These Infamous cases include former NFL tight end for the New England Patriots, Aaron Hernandez, currently sitting in a Massachusetts prison on charges of murder. Another is the recent arrest of two Denver Broncos executives, director of pro personnel Tom Heckert and director of player personnel Matt Russell, who were booked for driving under the influence of alcohol this last month. There has been a disturbing pattern of irresponsible behavior that imperatively needs to be cleaned up. According to a database from the San Diego Union-Tribune, there have been 40 instances of NFL player arrests since the start of 2013. Unfortunately, the past and current commonality NFL teams share is the prioritizing of talent over all around character in the formation of their rosters. It seems that the NFL franchises, as a whole, need to shift this priority and begin weeding out players with turbulent or violent pasts in order to fix the fast growing image problem they are facing.

It is difficult, however, to create an acceptable standard for players across the board when the individuals responsible, per their job description, to enforce this standard are failing to live up to their own standards. These individuals should be expected to lead with their granted authority and set the example they wish to see duplicated by their players. As a former competitive athlete myself, I can state from first-hand experience that a lack of respect in the player to coach relationship is absolutely not ideal for a successful team dynamic. The monumental amount of young football players across the country who look up to their favorite NFL players as role models should be ample reason enough to advance immediate changes in the type of athlete and overall person the NFL grants the fortune of daunting that fame laden jersey.

Facing legal issues involving drinking, drugs, and violence has quickly diminished the credibility of the league. And while a DUI does not carry the same weight as committing a murder, assaulting a woman, or passing out in a car full of guns and drugs, all of which have been executed by NFL players, all legal offenses still need be looked at and dealt with in a serious manner. With the eyes of a whole nation watching, the vitality of putting a stop to the array of these occurrences has never been more pressing.

This last Friday the tragic murder of a beloved Carlsbad Dental Assistant sadly transpired. Authorities reported that on Friday, November 9, 2012, JoAnne Javier was found stabbed to death in her car of the parking lot where she worked. The 24-year-old, who was late returning from her break, was discovered by her employer slumped over in her SUV. A witness called 911 after hearing a lady screaming, ‘My assistant, my assistant, call 911.”

According to Carlsbad Police, patrol officers responded to a 911 call around 4:30p.m. to the parking lot in the 5800 block of Van Allen Way. Tragically, they found the young woman in her car slumped over and bleeding from her chest. The victim appeared to have been stabbed in the chest multiple times. A short time later, paramedics pronounced the Javier dead at the scene.

Police immediately began investigating Javier’s murder. A few hours later, homicide detectives developed information on a male suspect believed to be responsible for her murder. That suspect was Javier’s boyfriend, John Monta. He is also the father of Javier’s 3-year-old child {NBC 7}. Carlsbad detectives went to Monta’s apartment, with the assistance of San Diego Police.

Early morning on Monday, July 19, 2011, San Diego was shocked by the murder of a veteran police detective, Donna Williams 52, and her teenage daughter, Briana Williams 18. Both women were stabbed to death early Monday morning in their Rancho Penasquitos home. Residents in the area said they were startled by screams, at 1 a.m. Monday morning. Witnesses said screams were originating from the Williams home which pierced the silence. One witness who heard the screams of pain was so startled that she was scared to look outside to see what was happening.

Donna Williams, was a veteran Police Detective who had been working for the San Diego Police Department for over 30 years. She also worked as a child abuse investigator and recently on a high profile case of the 2002 murder of Danielle Van Dam. Co-workers and friends of Donna Williams stated that she was a very caring person with a warm welcoming heart.

Briana Williams know as Bree just graduated from Mt. Carmel High School and planned to continue her education at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco this fall. She also played softball for the San Diego Renegades a traveling softball team, and was a very talented athlete. Don Portugal her couch described her as a caring, hard working and talented athlete.

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