Charges against Marcus Anthony Eriz & Wynne Lee filed in shooting death of Aiden Leos killed in road rage shooting incident.
A Costa Mesa, California man has been charged with murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle in a road rage shooting that killed a six-year-old boy last month on a the I-55 Orange freeway.
Orange County prosecutors on Tuesday charged 24-year-old Marcus Anthony Eriz with murder in the death of Aiden Leos. Eriz’s ‘live in’ girlfriend, Wynne Lee, was charged with being an accessory after the fact and illegally carrying a concealed firearm.
Lee had initially been booked on murder charges, which prosecutors decided not to pursue against her in favor of the lesser charges.
If convicted, Eriz faces between 40 years to life in prison. Lee faces up to three years in state prison and a year in county jail.
While other jurisdictions differentiate between first-degree murder, which alleges intent and premeditation, and second-degree murder, which alleges other kinds of premeditated murder, Orange County does not. Hence there is only the charge of murder.
Hi tech led to case breakthrough
Both Eriz & Lee had been initially scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday for their arraignment but the hearing was pushed back to June 18.
A judge agreed to prosecutors’ request to have provisional bail increased to $2million for Eriz. Bail for Lee was set at $500,000.
Authorities said Lee was driving the car as Eriz fired the shot that killed Leos while his mother was driving the boy to kindergarten on May 21. The shooting came as the result of a driving dispute involving a lane change, with the boy’s mother giving the Costa Mesa couple the finger, only for the couple to retaliate.
Investigators tracked down the two suspects by using enhanced surveillance imaging and dashcam footage of their Volkswagen that is rarely sold in California.
Just 140 make and models of that particular Volkswagen have been sold in the state, KTTV-TV reported.
Investigators asked for the public’s help in identifying the car believed to have been driven by the suspects by circulating surveillance photos of it.
In the weeks since, officials said they received hundreds of phone calls and emails. Family members, donors, county officials, and local businesses offered rewards totaling $500,000 to anyone with information leading to an arrest.
Car found along with weapon used
California Highway Patrol officials said on Monday that they received a tip that purportedly included a photo of the suspect’s vehicle.
Investigators used enhanced imaging to zoom in on the license plate, which led them to the couple.
The car, registered to Lee’s parents, was found by CHP on Sunday and impounded as evidence, the Los Angeles Times reported. The vehicle was recovered at a home in Whittier, where Eriz’s grandmother lives.
According to investigators, they zeroed in on Eriz and Lee after mapping out their daily commute along the 91 corridor.
Authorities also told of finding a gun and car believed to have been used in the shooting but they weren’t at the arrest site, CHP Assistant Chief Don Goodbrand said at a Monday news conference.
‘In a civilized community, we should be able to drive our kid to school and not worry that they’re going to be shot in the back,’ Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley said during Tuesday’s press conference.
Of note, neither Eriz or Lee have prior felony convictions, according to online records.
Eriz appears to be a gun fanatic with his social media filled with photos and video of him showing off his guns and firing them at shooting ranges.
In one photo, Eriz displayed two handguns and a rifle. In another photo, he showed off his ammunition.
It is not clear what type of firearm was used in the shooting of the six-year-old boy or whether or not it may be any shown in Eriz’s social media.
A memorial service was held Saturday afternoon at Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda, a day before Eriz and Lee’s arrest. Come Monday, Aiden was buried during a private ceremony.