Los Angeles

Wanted Murder Fugitive Hiding in Mexico is Slain

A wanted fugitive facing murder charges in a grisly slaying of a 15-year-old girl nearly 15 years ago has been shot and killed, officials said Tuesday.

George Barraza, wanted in the Oct. 18, 2002 killing of Brenda Sierra, was killed last month in Sinaloa, Mexico, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Homicide investigators confirmed Barraza's identity via fingerprints.

Other than that he was shot, details about the killing were murky.

Authorities said they've had no witnesses come forward to talk about the crime due to his rumored reputation of being in a gang in East Los Angeles and drug cartels in Mexico.

He was accused of kidnapping and killing Brenda in East Los Angeles while she was on her way to school. Her body was found a day after she disappeared in Crestline in the San Bernardino Mountains.

Murder charges were filed against five suspects in March 2015. Three of the suspects were arrested in 2015 and are awaiting trial. The fourth suspect was killed in an unrelated homicide in East Los Angeles in May 2003.

Barraza, 37, fled to Mexico where he remained a fugitive and was added on the list of US Marshal's 15 most wanted.

Two men and a woman charged in the killing have pleaded not guilty to the crime. Eddie "Shrek" Chavira and Daniel "Snaps" Cervantes were charged in the slaying. A fourth suspect, Rosemary Chavira, 28, was also arrested and charged. She's Eddie's sister.

Vincent Oliver, Eddie Chavira's attorney, said his client was in custody at the time of the crime, did not know of it beforehand, and did not participate in the crime.

Rosemary Chavira and Cervantes were charged with one count each of murder, conspiracy to dissuade a witness and forcible rape with the special circumstances of felony murder during commission of a kidnapping and to further a street gang.

Eddie Chavira is charged with one count each of murder and conspiracy to intimidate a witness.

A criminal complaint alleges while Eddie Chavira was in custody for a shooting witnessed by Brenda's relative he told a fellow gang member that he was going to have other gang members "take care of witnesses."

He allegedly also contacted his sister to help get other gang members to "take care of witnesses," prosecutors said in a news release.

Because Rosemary Chavira was a minor at the time of the slaying, she faces life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged. Eddie Chavira faces 25 years to life if convicted as charged.

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