UPDATE, DEC. 7, 12:41 P.M.: 34-year-old Robert Eugene Vasquez is being held without bail as his defense attorney got his arraignment continued to Jan. 6 in the alleged special circumstances murder of his San Juan Capistrano mobile home park neighbor and the assault on a second man with a metal object two days later.
Motives for the attacks have yet to be released.
With convictions, Vasquez faces life in state prison without the possibility of parole. The charges include special circumstances allegations for murder by lying in wait for the near-decapitation slaying of 54-year-old Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr. and aggravated assault on Lance Lyons. The defendant is also accused of a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.
UPDATE, DEC. 5, 5:52 P.M.: 34-year-old Robert Eugene Vasquez will be arraigned Tuesday morning for allegedly murdering his San Juan Capistrano mobile home park neighbor Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr., 54, and assaulting a second man with a metal object two days later.
Conviction could garner Vasquez a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole or possibly the death penalty.
He is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder by lying in wait, one felony count of aggravated assault, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. The special circumstance in this case makes the defendant eligible for the death penalty.
The court will be asked to hold Vasquez without bail, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office, which provided more details on the Rainwater killing:
On the morning of Dec. 1, 2011, Vasquez is accused of waiting outside of the home of his neighbor, Bobby Ray Rainwater, Jr., with the intention of murdering him. When the victim left his home, Vasquez is accused of attacking him by punching him in the back of the head. The defendant is accused of then stabbing Rainwater multiple times, nearly decapitating him. After murdering the victim, Vasquez is accused of fleeing the scene.
On Dec. 3, 2011, Vasquez is accused of being at another residence in San Juan Capistrano. He is accused of using a metal object to hit victim Lance Lyons in the face as the victim was lying down. The defendant is accused of attempting to hit the victim a second time, but was stopped by Lyons' brother.
It was while arresting Vasquez for the Lyons assault that Orange County sheriff's deputies determined he was also responsible for the murder of Rainwater, according to the OCDA.
UPDATE, DEC. 5, 9:27 A.M.: Orange County sheriff's investigators have made an arrest in the stabbing death of a 54-year-old man whose body deputies found outside his San Juan Capistrano mobile home.
Robert Eugene Vasquez, 34, is accused of killing Bobby Ray Rainwater, who lived with his elderly parents in the at San Juan Mobile Estates park.
Vasquez's assault on another man at the mobile home park Saturday morning led homicide investigators to him, sheriff's Detective Dan Salcedo reportedly told the Orange County Register.
The county coroner's division reports an autopsy concluded Rainwater died of multiple stab wounds to his upper torso.
The sheriff's department says a witness saw a man running away from Rainwater's body.
ORIGINAL POST, DEC. 1, 1:31 P.M.: Orange County sheriff's deputies responding to a disturbance call at San Juan Mobile Estates this morning found the body of a man in front of his mobile home in the San Juan Capistrano trailer park.
Investigators say they are treating the case as a homicide, and a quote a sheriff's lieutenant gave to a local newspaper indicates the suspected killer is probably known.
"There's not a danger to the community; we're not looking for somebody running around the neighborhood," Lt. Steve Doan reportedly told the Orange County Register, adding, "This person was not the victim of a random crime."
The police call came from the park in the 32000 block of Alipaz Street around 5:30 a.m. The man's name, age, injuries and cause of death have not been released pending notification of next-of-kin, which in this case include the man's elderly parents who resided in the same mobile home. So, one figures they know by now.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
The Register reports the man has worked at San Juan Mobile Estates as a handyman for residents.
By the way, that park is not to be confused with another in San Juan Capistrano that has been in the news lately. The owners of Capistrano Terrace Mobile Home Park, which is mired in bankruptcy proceedings, say they are considering an offer by about 300 residents to buy the park. That facility is owned by Capistrano Terrace Ltd. Millennium Housing owns San Juan Mobile Estates.