Arthur Carmona, the 16-year-old kid who was wrongfully arrested, prosecuted and convicted of robbing an Irvine juice shop ten years ago, is dead.
Somebody–witnesses claim he was an angry guy who picked a fight at a trailer park party early Sunday morning in Santa Ana–rammed him with a pickup truck. Police found his body in the street and confiscated the truck. They opened a homicide investigation but haven't named a suspect yet.
Sgt. Jose Gonzalez, a Santa Ana police spokesman, said he had no further information on the crime and the victim's mother, Ronnie Carmona, was unable to take telephone calls today. Yesterday, just hours after getting the news, she sent several reporters an email saying she still hadn't been able to see her son's body. “Arthur is finally free,” she wrote. “I would like to extend my deepest thank you to everyone who helped me fight for Arthur's release from prison.”
Along with LA Times columnist Dana Parsons, the Weekly published numerous articles on Carmona's Kafkaesque journey through Orange County's justice system. You can read those stories here, here and here. Both the Times and Register published stories about Carmona's death. You can also read readers comments below the Register story which are alternatively touching and idiotic. Our obituary for Carmona will appear in this Thursday's paper.