See Update No. 2 at the end of this post identifying murder victim Daniel Rowlett, 67, and disclosing suspect Felipe Jesus Delgado is also wanted for murder in Santa Cruz County.
See Update No. 1 on next page about the murder arrest of Anaheim 21-year-old Delgado, who police initially identified by his alias, “Rojas.”
ORIGINAL POST, JULY 5, 11:01 A.M.: A man found bleeding in a truck that was originally reported to Anaheim Police as having crashed had been stabbed, and when he later died in an emergency room he became a Fourth of July homicide victim. Police in Fullerton and Santa Ana are investigating deaths of men beaten Tuesday that may add two more cases to Orange County's 2012 homicide count.
In the confirmed homicide, Anaheim Police received numerous reports that a commercial truck had crashed late Wednesday in the 300 block of East La Palma Avenue near Olive
Street. When officers arrived around 10:45 p.m., they discovered the truck was very close to a light pole, which was undamaged, indicating there was no collision.
However, the man inside the truck suffered at least one stab wound. He was taken to UCI Medical Center in Orange, where he died a short
time later. His name and age are currently being withheld.
Police say witnesses reported seeing another man running from the truck with blood on his clothing before officers arrived. Anyone with additional information is asked to call Anaheim Police investigators at 714.765.1944.
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Orange County's murder count may have actually been bumped up the morning before in Fullerton, where fire personnel were called around 6:30 a.m. to a commercial building in the 1100
block of East Elm Avenue, near Raymond Avenue, about a man on the ground bleeding.
Actually, two bleeding men were in the building, and police investigators believe they knew one another and had been in some kind of fistfight. No weapons were found.
Both men were taken to UCI Medical Center, where 44-year-old Steven Pratt died. The other man, who has not been identified, suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to Fullerton Police.
No arrests have been made as detectives await the results of an autopsy.
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That same evening in Santa Ana, a 22-year-old man died after he collapsed while being arrested following a family fight in the 800 block of Graham Lane.
Santa Ana Police were called there just before 6:30 p.m. about the family fight, and when their suspect became “unresponsive,” he was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
It is unclear whether his death was caused by injuries suffered in the fight or because of the force used to take him into custody. Because of the possibility of the latter, the Orange County District Attorney's office will investigate what's considered an in-custody death, as is routine.
UPDATE NO. 1, JULY 6, 8:11 A.M.: The Anaheim Police Department (APD) has not yet released the name of the Mr. Packaging driver found stabbed to death late on the Fourth of July, but his accused murderer has been identified.
Felipe Jesus Rojas, 21, of Anaheim, is being held without bail following his arrest around 9 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of murder during the commission of a robbery. (Writer's note: Rojas is an alias for the suspect authorities now identify as Felipe Jesus Delgado.)
The dead man was found in the cab of a flatbed truck that had come to a stop just one block from the Mr. Packaging facility.
Police have not yet revealed if
Rojas Delgado is believed to be the man in bloody clothing witnesses saw running from the truck before officers arrived.
UPDATE NO. 2, JULY 6, 11:59 A.M.: Felipe Jesus Delgado is also wanted for homicide in Santa Cruz County, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) on the 21-year-old's arraignment in Santa Ana today on a special circumstances murder count that could bring the death penalty with a conviction.
The same OCDA release discloses the name of the man fatally stabbed in Anaheim as Daniel Rowlett, 67.
Delgado allegedly approached Rowlett outside a business on Olive Street in
Anaheim, robbed the Mr. Packaging driver of his wallet and then stabbed the older man more than a dozen times in the legs and chest before
fleeing on foot, according to the OCDA.
Anaheim police officers believing they had arrived at the scene of a traffic accident found Rowlett bleeding in the driver's seat of his truck before paramedics rushed him to a
hospital, where he was pronounced dead, prosecutors note.
A trail of blood from the truck led to Delgado's home on Julianna Street in Anaheim, where officers confronted him. According to the OCDA, Delgado was wearing bloody socks, his bloody clothes were on the bedroom
floor, he had a fresh cut on his hand, and a folding knife believed to be the murder weapon was hidden under his bed.
He is currently being held on no bail pending his arraignment on one felony
count of special circumstances murder for financial gain and in the
commission of a robbery, and one felony count of robbery. If convicted, Delgado faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without
the possibility of parole, although he is also eligible for the death penalty.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.