UPDATED WITH ARRESTS OF “PERSONS OF INTEREST” . . .
Robert Reil and Amour Villamar, both 30 and from Santa Ana, have been arrested in Oregon in connection with Orange County's first murder of the year.
The man and woman were initally believed to be involved in a robbery that led to the shooting of Ezequiel Felix Bernal, 49, of Santa Ana, but now police suspect it was the bloody end of a drug deal gone bad, according to an Orange County Register report.
Police initially said Bernal was driving through the
400 block of North Oak Street in Orange just after 11 p.m. Sunday when
someone opened fire on him, striking the driver and causing him to lose
control of his white 1995 Ford Focus, which slammed into a parked car.
Bernal was rushed from the residential neighborhood to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he died. The Sheriff's Coroner Division confirmed it was the first homicide case of
the year that has been cleared in Orange County.
Reil and Villamar, who were wanted for parole violations, were arrested Thursday in
Springfield, Ore., by police there and the U.S. Marshals Service Oregon Fugitive Task
Force. They are currently being held in an Oregan jail on $1 million bail each while awaiting extradition to Orange County, which should happen this week.
Reil was previously convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, evading a peace officer and disturbing the peace, while Villamar has separate drug-related and stolen-vehicle charges on her rap sheet, according to the Register.