The second of two men charged in the murder of a popular Irvine Valley College student pleaded guilty Friday not to murder but, under a deal with a court, voluntary manslaughter. Heriberto Erick Vergara Calvillo, 27, is expected to be sentenced to 22 years in state prison on June 27.
That's far less time that what's facing Calvillo's partner in crime. Joseph Robert Suess, 38, of Anaheim, faces up to 76 years in prison at his May 23 sentencing after being convicted in March of first-degree murder in the killing of 55-year-old Mikel Anthony Williams of Irvine.
After a rough life–Williams' mother and brother were murdered before him–he seemed to have turned his life around after getting a college education at IVC, moving into housing nearby and trading bus rides for his own car.
But Anaheim Police received an anonymous call shortly after midnight on Aug. 30, 2012, about a possible burglary in progress in the 800 block of North Zeyn Street, which is near Anaheim Boulevard. Officers arrived to find Williams stabbed to death in an alley, and there were no signs of a burglary.
Cops had already encountered Williams earlier that same night, still very much alive, in the driver's seat of his car with passenger Suess. Investigators later pinned Suess as the killer, after an argument over Williams' refusal to take Suess somewhere he wanted to go. Calvillo showed up during the confrontation to help beat Williams, who was stabbed multiple times.