Santa Barbara- S County

Arraignments continued for defendants in two recent murder cases

Deputy D-A: 'This has been a very busy week'

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Six defendants in two recent homicide cases were scheduled to appear in Santa Barbara Superior Court Friday for arraignment.

The first hearing happened late morning and involved the man accused of killing Lilia Munoz last Tuesday in the apartment they shared.

Omar Leon's arraignment was pushed back to next week.

Judge Clifford Anderson told members of the media not to photograph or videotape the defendant.

28-year-old Leon is accused of killing the 29-year-old that evening in the unit they shared on S. Soledad Street.

Police labeled the killing as a fatal domestic violence incident.

The murder occurred three days after a gang-related murder down the street on Cacique Street.

"Our local police department has worked tirelessly in getting six people in custody on two separate murders so this has been a very busy week," said Senior Deputy D.A. Benjamin Ladinig. "Our forensic pathologist, Dr. Montez, did a wonderful job doing the autopsies so I'm confident in a filing and proceeding forward but the people should know that he (Leon) is presumed innocent and that presumption remains until I prove otherwise."

Leon's arraignment was continued to Thursday, June 13 in Dept. 8.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office filed charges Friday against five defendants arrested for last Saturday's murder of 29-year-old Alberto Torres on Cacique Street.

The defendants were also set to be arraigned Friday afternoon.

Four adults and one juvenile face charges for fatally stabbing the Santa Barbara man.

Igor Ortiz and Adalain Ibarra -- both 20 -- face murder and special gang-related charges. Ortiz and 31 year-old Angel Barajas both face charges of personally using a deadly weapon.

18-year-old Alondra Ochoa faces accessory to murder and a gang-related charge.

Friday afternoon, arraignment for Ortiz, Ibarra and Ochoa was continued to Wednesday, June 12; Barajas had not yet been transported to the courthouse from the jail for his arraignment.

The juvenile's case is going through juvenile court.

The District Attorney's Office could file additional charges in the coming weeks.


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