UPDATE, FEB. 25, 12:09 P.M.: A judge Wednesday dismissed murder charges filed against two young men in the Halloween-night killing of Jose Derek Guerrero, 22, of Santa Ana.
Salvador Alvarez, 21, and Jose Antonio Vargas, 20, both of Santa Ana, were later released from Orange County Jail, where they had been held since Nov. 1 and Feb. 4, respectively.
The judge apparently felt there was not enough evidence to try the pair for murder. Santa Ana police detectives have conceded they have identified another person as the shooter of Guerrero and that the suspect remains at large.
Alvarez, Vargas and the shooter were apparently with the same uninvited group of men who crashed a house party in the 1600 block of North English Street, Santa Ana, where bullets were sprayed after 1 a.m. on Nov. 1, 2010.
Police identified the party crashers as gang members, but Vargas' attorney tells The Orange County Register that claim is not true when it comes to his client and Alvarez. The attorney for Alvarez tells the paper he expects new charges to be filed against that pair and that his client hopes that happens sooner rather than later so he can clear his name once again.
ORIGINAL UPDATED POST, NOV. 2, 2010, 6:53 P.M.: A house party was raging in the 1600 block of North English Street in Santa Ana after 1 a.m. Sunday when a group of uninvited men crashed the affair.
Guests let the party crashers know they were not welcome. That did not sit well with the group, words were exchanged and then one uninvited man took out a gun and began firing, hitting three male guests.
One was 22-year-old Santa Ana resident Jose Derek Guerrero, who died at the hospital.
Another 22-year-old man was listed in extremely critical condition at the hospital. A 20-year-old suffered non life-threatening injuries.
The party crashers, who left after the shootings, were possibly rival gang members, according to Santa Ana Police, who add Guerrero was not a documented gang member.
Police also announced that Salvador Alvarez, 21, of Santa Ana, was arrested at his home Monday night on suspicion of murder and gang enhancements. He is being held at Santa Ana Jail. The hunt is still on for two accomplices.
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