Well, this is embarrassing: in the never-ending quest to track all Orange County homicides, the March 11 slaying of Noel Perez Aguilar somehow slipped by.
This came to light while scanning the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) statement on today's arraignment of Adsalon Isai Montes, 18, of Orange, who is accused of murdering 19-year-old Orange resident Aguilar.
Aguilar and a friend were standing on Tustin Street near Collins Avenue in Orange around 10 p.m. on March 11 when an orange 1970 Chevy Camaro pulled up and a pair of men inside asked where the friends were from. Aguilar and his friend answered with their gang name.
The two men then got out of the car and put a beat-down on the pair. Aguilar took the most severe beating, suffering skull
fractures that would cause him to slip in and out of consciousness afterward. His pal sustained multiple
lacerations to his head and face.
The men then jumped back into the Camaro and drove off. The friend dragged Aguilar to a nearby Bank of America branch and called fellow
gang members for help. Aguilar was placed in an abandoned Ford Explorer
by his friends, who called 9-1-1 . . .
. . . the next day. Orange police
officers found Aguilar's dead body in the back of the Explorer.
On March 18, two Orange cops spotted a black 1970 Camaro at an Orange gas station on Katella Avenue. As they approached the car, the officers smelled the
odor of fresh paint and noticed that the black paint was damp to the
touch. Upon closer inspection, they noticed the
rear wheel well and driver side door were painted orange underneath. Believing it to be the car used in the beating-murder of Aguilar, the driver was arrested and later identified as Montes.
After more investigation, police on April 1 arrested Christian Rogelio Maroquin, 18, of Orange, of being the second man in the Aguilar beating.
Montes and Maroquin were each charged with one felony count each of murder, aggravated assault, street terrorism,
and a sentencing enhancement for criminal street gang activity. They are being held without bail. Maroquin already pleaded not guilty at his separate arraignment.
Each could get up to 25 years to life in state prison if convicted of the charges against them. Montes is due back in a Santa Ana courtroom April 29 for a pretrial hearing.