Deputies identify the victim as Bobby Ray Rainwater – a name that appears on a state website of registered sex offenders.
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – Deputies responding to an early-morning disturbance call at a mobile-home park here found a man dead in the street outside his home.
Investigators were releasing few details Thursday afternoon, but they were treating the man's death as a homicide and said it was not a random crime.
"There's not a danger to the community," Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Steve Doan said. "We're not looking for somebody running around the neighborhood."
The Sheriff's Department identified the victim as 54-year-old Bobby Ray Rainwater. A man by that name and age is registered as a sex offender on California's Megan's Law website, with an address in San Juan Capistrano.
He was convicted of assault with intent to commit a specified sex offense, according to the website. It does not provide other details, and Bobby Rainwater does not appear in criminal court records in Orange or Los Angeles counties.
Rainwater worked as a handyman and lived with his elderly parents at the San Juan Mobile Estates, park manager Ted Roberts said. A woman who answered the phone at the family's home immediately hung up.
Deputies were called to a disturbance at the mobile-home park in the 32000 block of Alipaz Street around 5:30 a.m. Thursday. Doan did not know who was involved in the disturbance, or who called to report it.
Arriving deputies found Rainwater in the street just outside his home. He had obvious injuries, but the Sheriff's Department was not releasing details about the manner of his death because of its ongoing investigation.
Deputies were interviewing Rainwater's family and neighbors and were "zeroing in on some things," Doan said. They had not made any arrests or named any suspects, but Doan said: "This person was not the victim of a random crime."
He asked that anyone with information about the case call the Sheriff's Department at 714-628-7170. ..Source.. by DOUG IRVING / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
UPDATE: Man Killed at Mobile Home Park ID'd
The body of a 54-year-old man was found outside his mobile home residence early Thursday in what authorities consider a homicide.
Orange County Sheriff's deputies later identified the man as Bobby Ray Rainwater, who lived in the San Juan Mobile Estates park with his elderly parents, said Lt. Steve Doan.
A Bobby Ray Rainwater is also listed as a sex offender on the state's Megan's Law registry. Although the Sheriff's Department wouldn't confirm any connection, both have the same birthdate and town of residence, San Juan Capistrano.
The registry says Rainwater was convicted of assault with intent to commit a specified sex offense, but provided no details. He had several tattoos, including a dragon, devil, and skull and crossbones.
The Sheriff's Department received a 911 call around 5:30 a.m. about a disturbance at the mobile home park at 32302 Alipaz St. When they arrived on the scene, they found Rainwater's body outside a mobile home on Paseo Perdido.
"The victim was already deceased when deputies arrived, but we don't know for how long," Doan said.
Officials weren't certain of the cause of death, but don't believe Rainwater had been shot, he said.
"We're very certain there's no danger to the community," Doan said. "There are no schools on lockdown."
A neighbor said her roommate heard the victim yelling in what she thought was pain. When she went outside, deputies were on the scene. "I'm scared," Amber Jamieson said. "I just want to leave."
Jamieson said she was awakened by her roommate's dog barking at some sort of commotion.
Another neighbor who did not want to be identified said Rainwater was always helpful.
"He'd help anybody. I had him up on my roof because I had a leak."
Doan said deputies have interviewed Rainwater's friends and family, as well as the person who called 911.
"We're still running down leads at this point," he said.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call the sheriff's department at 714-628-7170. ..Source.. by Penny Arévalo
Man seen running from body in mobile-home park
Authorities said a witness saw someone running away from a 54-year-old man who was killed Thursday morning, but no one has been taken into custody.
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – A man was seen running away from a mobile-home park where a 54-year-old man was found dead Thursday morning, but investigators said they have not yet identified any suspects.
When deputies arrived to the park they found 54-year-old Bobby Ray Rainwater on the ground injured, but officials would not disclose what the injuries were.
An autopsy is scheduled Friday in order to determine a cause of death, said investigator Dan Salcedo of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
Authorities have not released many details on the case, but said Rainwater's death was being investigated as a homicide. As of Friday morning, no one has been taken into custody and no suspects have been identified, Salcedo said.
On Friday, authorities said a witness heard voices outside and saw a man running away from the area.
The witness did not see an altercation, but spotted Rainwater on the ground and called police about a person down, Salcedo said.
Deputies who responded to the mobile-home park at the 32000 block of Alipaz Street saw Rainwater was injured as they tried to administer aid, he said.
According to California's Megan's Law website, a man with the same name is listed as a sex offender living in San Juan Capistrano.
According the site, the man was convicted of assault with intent to commit a specific sex offense.
San Juan Mobile Estates park manager Ted Roberts said Rainwater worked as a handyman and lived with his parents in the mobile-home park. ..Source.. by SALVADOR HERNANDEZ / THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Slaying Victim 'Nearly Decapitated'
New details emerge in last week's mobile-home park killing. The neighbor accused of killing Bobby Ray Rainwater faces arraignment Tuesday.
Bobby Ray Rainwater was killed by a knife-wielding neighbor who allegedly punched him in the back of the head and then stabbed him so many times that Rainwater was nearly decapitated, authorities revealed Monday.
The grisly new details were laid out by the Orange County District Attorney's office on the eve of alleged killer Robert Eugene Vasquez's arraignment hearing.
Vasquez, 34, has been charged with special circumstances murder for allegedly lying in wait for Rainwater, a 54-year-old registered sex offender who was found dead in front of his mobile home last week. Officials have said they aren't sure whether Rainwater's status as a sex offender played a part in his death.
Vasquez was also charged with aggravated assault in a separate attack two days later.
According to prosecutors, Vasquez waited outside Rainwater's San Juan Hills Mobile Estates home on Alipaz Street early Thursday with the intention of killing him.
Vasquez first punched Rainwater in the back of the head, then stabbed him multiple times, “nearly decapitating him,” according to a district attorney press release. He then fled the scene.
If convicted, Vasquez faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole, according to the D.A.’s office. The addition of the special circumstances charge means he is also eligible for the death penalty.
Orange County Sheriff’s deputies originally arrested Vasquez for his involvement in a second assault on Saturday, this one at another home in San Juan Capistrano. The D.A.’s office said Vasquez allegedly used a metal bar to hit Lance Lyons in the face while he was lying down. Lyons' brother intervened to stop the attack, authorities said.
In the course of investigating that case, deputies connected Vasquez to the Rainwater slaying, the press release said.
Investigators have not revealed possible motives for either attack. ..Soource.. by Penny Arévalo
[UPDATED with Arraignment Continued:] Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr., OC Homicide No. 57: Body Found Outside His Mobile Home
UPDATE, DEC. 7, 12:41 P.M.: 34-year-old Robert Eugene Vasquez is being held without bail as his defense attorney got his arraignment continued to Jan. 6 in the alleged special circumstances murder of his San Juan Capistrano mobile home park neighbor and the assault on a second man with a metal object two days later.
Motives for the attacks have yet to be released.
With convictions, Vasquez faces life in state prison without the possibility of parole. The charges include special circumstances allegations for murder by lying in wait for the near-decapitation slaying of 54-year-old Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr. and aggravated assault on Lance Lyons. The defendant is also accused of a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon.
UPDATE, DEC. 5, 5:52 P.M.: 34-year-old Robert Eugene Vasquez will be arraigned Tuesday morning for allegedly murdering his San Juan Capistrano mobile home park neighbor Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr., 54, and assaulting a second man with a metal object two days later.
Conviction could garner Vasquez a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole or possibly the death penalty.
He is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder by lying in wait, one felony count of aggravated assault, and a sentencing enhancement for the personal use of a deadly weapon. The special circumstance in this case makes the defendant eligible for the death penalty.
The court will be asked to hold Vasquez without bail, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office, which provided more details on the Rainwater killing:
On the morning of Dec. 1, 2011, Vasquez is accused of waiting outside of the home of his neighbor, Bobby Ray Rainwater, Jr., with the intention of murdering him. When the victim left his home, Vasquez is accused of attacking him by punching him in the back of the head. The defendant is accused of then stabbing Rainwater multiple times, nearly decapitating him. After murdering the victim, Vasquez is accused of fleeing the scene.It was while arresting Vasquez for the Lyons assault that Orange County sheriff's deputies determined he was also responsible for the murder of Rainwater, according to the OCDA.
On Dec. 3, 2011, Vasquez is accused of being at another residence in San Juan Capistrano. He is accused of using a metal object to hit victim Lance Lyons in the face as the victim was lying down. The defendant is accused of attempting to hit the victim a second time, but was stopped by Lyons' brother.
UPDATE, DEC. 5, 9:27 A.M.: Orange County sheriff's investigators have made an arrest in the stabbing death of a 54-year-old man whose body deputies found outside his San Juan Capistrano mobile home.
Robert Eugene Vasquez, 34, is accused of killing Bobby Ray Rainwater, who lived with his elderly parents in the at San Juan Mobile Estates park.
Vasquez's assault on another man at the mobile home park Saturday morning led homicide investigators to him, sheriff's Detective Dan Salcedo reportedly told the Orange County Register.
The county coroner's division reports an autopsy concluded Rainwater died of multiple stab wounds to his upper torso.
The sheriff's department says a witness saw a man running away from Rainwater's body.
ORIGINAL POST, DEC. 1, 1:31 P.M.: Orange County sheriff's deputies responding to a disturbance call at San Juan Mobile Estates this morning found the body of a man in front of his mobile home in the San Juan Capistrano trailer park.
Investigators say they are treating the case as a homicide, and a quote a sheriff's lieutenant gave to a local newspaper indicates the suspected killer is probably known.
"There's not a danger to the community; we're not looking for somebody running around the neighborhood," Lt. Steve Doan reportedly told the Orange County Register, adding, "This person was not the victim of a random crime."
The police call came from the park in the 32000 block of Alipaz Street around 5:30 a.m. The man's name, age, injuries and cause of death have not been released pending notification of next-of-kin, which in this case include the man's elderly parents who resided in the same mobile home. So, one figures they know by now.
The Register reports the man has worked at San Juan Mobile Estates as a handyman for residents.
By the way, that park is not to be confused with another in San Juan Capistrano that has been in the news lately. The owners of Capistrano Terrace Mobile Home Park, which is mired in bankruptcy proceedings, say they are considering an offer by about 300 residents to buy the park. That facility is owned by Capistrano Terrace Ltd. Millennium Housing owns San Juan Mobile Estates. ..Source.. by Matt Coker
Jurors Hear Details of Chilling Murder Confession
Opening arguments in the murder trial of a man accused of killing a convicted sex offender in San Juan Capistrano include details from his painstakingly detailed confession to police.
The murder of a convicted sex offender in San Juan Capistrano was a dispassionate and brutal act of misguided vigilantism, jurors were told Monday during opening arguments in the murder trial of Robert Eugene Vasquez.
Vasquez, who stands accused of lying in wait and then stabbing to death San Juan Capistrano resident Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr. Dec. 1 2011, told investigators he had no anger when he killed his neighbor. He did it to protect his family and girlfriend from a “creeper.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh presented snippets from a two-hour-plus videotaped confession in which Vasquez described hiding in the bushes, jumping and punching Rainwater and using a buck knife to repeatedly stab him in the back. Vasquez even described the sound one of his victims’ lungs made as it “popped,” before demonstrating how he held Rainwater’s head down to slit his throat.
Vasquez knew Rainwater was a convicted sex offender from his mom, the neighborhood gossip, according to investigators. She had wrongfully spread the rumor Rainwater was a pedophile.
In fact, Rainwater was convicted in 1985 of assault with attempt to rape an adult woman, not a child, Baytieh said. He served his time, and then moved in with his parents at the San Juan Mobile Estates park.
"We are here because of a vigilante; complete and utter disregard for the value of human lives," Baytieh said.
Vasquez’s attorney, Michael Perez of the Orange County Public Defender's office, said the facts – the who, what and how – are not in dispute. He asked the jury to consider the “why.” Vasquez was showing signs of mental illness in the year leading up to the murder and was also a drug user, said Perez.
He said the jury would see the killing was not premeditated murder in the first degree.
Vasquez is charged with one count of murder with a special circumstance for lying in wait. He’s also accused of nearly killing another San Juan Capistrano resident, Lance Lyons, two days later.
Baytieh said Vasquez attacked Lyons because he didn’t like him. The night before the attack, Lyons had warned Vasquez to stay out of his elderly grandmother’s room. That set Vasquez off.
“He wasn’t that nice,” Vasquez would say of Lyons to investigators. “He was making me uncomfortable.”
The Vasquez family moved into the mobile home park in September 2010, and the defendant moved in around spring 2011, said Bobby Ray Rainwater Sr., who was among the first to testify Monday.
He recalled first meeting Margo Vasquez, Robert's mom, not long after she moved in. Talking on the Rainwater porch, Mrs. Vasquez mentioned in their very first meeting that she was a “revengeful person,” Rainwater Sr. said.
“She said she was a revengeful person and always got her revenge, even if it took years,” he said.
Later, neighbors would tell him that Mrs. Vasquez was circulating fliers, identifying Rainwater Jr. as a pedophile, his father said. She reportedly tried to start a petition to encourage the Rainwater family to move.
On the night before the murder, Vasquez’s girlfriend said she had a brief encounter with Rainwater Jr., Baytieh said. She told investigators she didn’t remember what he said, but she knew it made her feel uncomfortable. Jurors will see her testimony on tape later in the trial, Baytieh added.
In his videotaped confession, Robert Eugene Vasquez described Rainwater Jr. as a “creeper,” who would roam the neighborhood between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. He also knew Rainwater Jr. would wake up early, in the 5 o’clock hour, to have his first smoke.
“I said screw it, and I went under the bushes, and I waited,” Vasquez told Orange County sheriff’s investigators. Then he “just did it,” added Vasquez.
What Vasquez did, by his own admission, was start punching the victim. Even though Rainwater Jr. is a larger man, Vasquez was able to bring him to the ground. Vasquez reached into his pocket, pulled out a “Buck” knife and started stabbing him in the back.
A forensics specialist would later describe about a dozen stab wounds.
Vasquez said he heard a lung pop. Then he went for the mortal wound.
“I pushed him down on his head and pulled up on the knife,” Vasquez told deputies on videotape, mimicking a slashing of the throat.
Neighbors testified they heard Rainwater Jr. yell, “Help me, help me, help me.”
Then Vasquez fled, Baytieh said.
While a nurse rushed to Rainwater's side, another went to get his father.
“I checked his pulse,” said then-neighbor Lynn Marie Broman, a registered nurse. “He looked at me. He just mouthed, ‘Help me.’ I told him to close his eyes. He was as close to me as I could possibly get without moving him, so he could see me eye-to-eye,” she said.
Rainwater Sr. ran to his son’s side. He called for his wife to get a blanket, as it was cold and windy that morning.
“I reached out to see how strong his pulse was and whether he had one. When I put my fingers onto his neck, they went clear to my palm,” he said. ..Source.. by Paige Austin
Robert Eugene Vasquez Guilty of Brutal Murder of Neighbor His Mom Said Was a Child Molester
A 36-year-old man was convicted today of murdering--and nearly decapitating--his neighbor at a San Juan Capistrano mobile home park because the killer's mother wrongly outed the victim as a child molester.
Robert Eugene Vasquez, who a jury today also found guilty of assaulting a second man while on the run, faces life without the possibility of parole at his Aug. 23 sentencing in Santa Ana.
Vasquez waited in the bushes outside Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr.'s home the morning of Dec. 1, 2011, to kill the registered sex offender whose crime, despite what Vasquez's mother had said, did not involve children. Rainwater, who helped people around the park with chores, had also said something to Vasquez's girlfriend, who could not make it out but said she felt uncomfortable.
When 54-year-old Rainwater stepped out of the mobile home he shared with his parents for a smoke, Vasquez jumped him, punched the back of his head and then stabbed him several times.
The attacker fled, and when Orange County sheriff's deputies arrived, Rainwater's head was only barely attached to the body.
Two days later, Vasquez was at the San Juan Capistrano home of his friend Lance Lyons. Vasquez went uninvited into the room of the 44-year-old's grandmother, who did not recognize the man and told her grandson the encounter spooked her. Lyons told Vasquez not to go into grandma's room anymore, which prompted Vasquez to pick up a metal mallet and smash in his friend's face.
Vasquez had to be stopped by Lyons' brother from taking a second swing. The first strike had already caused major injuries to Lyons' nose and mouth.
It was revealed during the trial that Vasquez left San Juan Capistrano for refuge in the homes of childhood friends in San Clemente, where one eventually turned him in. He was arrested the same day as the Lyons' attack, and investigators soon linked him to the earlier murder of Rainwater.
The defense did not dispute Vasquez killed Rainwater, but attorneys argued for a conviction on lesser than first-degree murder.
Besides the false accusation from Vasquez's mother, a sexual assault victim, neighbors had warned him to lock his doors because of Rainwater, defense attorneys said in court.
"I like to try to protect my family. ... He's not going to go in there and rape my [expletive] chick," Vasquez had explained to investigators. ..Source.. by Matt Coker
O.C. man gets life in prison for killing sex-offender neighbor
An Orange County man who killed a neighbor in his mobile home park because the neighbor was a sex offender was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Robert Eugene Vasquez, 36, was convicted in June of stabbing neighbor Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr. to death. Prosecutors said Vasquez waited outside Rainwater’s home in a San Juan Capistrano mobile home park on the morning of Dec. 1, 2011, intending to kill Rainwater because he was a registered sex offender.
Vasquez's mother had told her son and others that Rainwater was a child molester. In fact, Rainwater had been convicted of assault with intent to commit rape, an offense that obligated him to register as a sex offender but did not involve a child, said Orange County Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Ebrahim Baytieh.
When Rainwater walked outside his home, Vasquez attacked him, punching him in the back of the head and stabbing him until he was nearly decapitated.
Two days later, as sheriff’s deputies investigated the murder, Vasquez attacked a friend at the friend's home in San Juan Capistrano with a metal object. The friend survived but suffered major injuries.
Vasquez was convicted of one felony count of special circumstances murder and one felony count of aggravated assault.
During the sentencing, a statement from members of Rainwater’s family was read to the court. The family and its neighbors were “hurting because of the action you chose that morning. We are getting better as time goes by, but we will not forget Bob. We will always have loving thoughts of Bob and the fun time we shared with him,” according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney’s office.
"We live in a free country," Baytieh said. "People have a right not to like someone. People have a right to not like what someone has done. But no one has a right to kill someone." ..Source.. by Paloma Esquivel
Robert Eugene Vasquez Gets Life Without Parole for Sick Murder and Attempted Murder
The San Juan Capistrano man who fatally stabbed his neighbor because the victim creeped out his girlfriend and was falsely labeled a child molester by the killer's mother was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole plus eight more years.
A jury in June found 36-year-old Robert Eugene Vasquez guilty of felony special circumstances murder by lying in wait, aggravated assault and sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury.
Robert Eugene Vasquez Guilty of Brutal Murder of Neighbor His Mom Said Was a Child Molester
"The Rainwater family and our neighbors are hurting because of the action you chose that morning," states a victim impact statement read in court today on behalf of the family of the late Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr. "We are getting better as time goes by, but we will not forget Bob. We will always have loving thoughts of Bob and the fun time we shared with him.
"I will never understand how so much evil can cause the loss of two men. One murdered, and one person in prison for the rest of his life."
Rainwater, 54, was a registered sex offender but the crime that earned him that tag did not involve children. He was known for helping out neighbors at the San Juan Capistrano mobile home park where he lived so he could care for his elderly parents.
But he was apparently known by Vasquez's mother to have been someone convicted of preying on children. After Rainwater said something to Vasquez's girlfriend that she could not make out but told her boyfriend left her feeling uncomfortable, the knifeman hatched a deadly plan.
He hid in the bushes outside Rainwater's home the morning of Dec. 1, 2011, and when the target stepped outside to take a smoke, Vasquez lunged at him, hit him in the back of the head, punched him several times and plunged his knife into the helpless victim several times. By the time sheriff's deputies arrived, Vasquez was gone and the deceased Rainwater's head was only barely attached to the rest of his body.
Vasquez hid from the law at an unknowing friend's home, where he became the creeper. The grandmother of friend Lance Lyons told him on Dec. 3, 2011, that she felt uncomfortable when Vasquez came into her room uninvited and while she had been alone. After Lyon told Vasquez not to go into grandma's room again, the guest used a metal object to hit the 44-year-old in the face as he was lying down. Vasquez was stopped by Lyon's brother before connecting with the second swing. Lyon suffered major injuries to his nose and mouth but survived.
Vasquez was originally arrested for the attack on Lyon, but further investigation fingered him as Rainwater's murderer. The defense never denied Vasquez killed Rainwater but tried to argue he deserved lesser charges because he was only trying to defend his family. Jurors obviously didn't buy it. ..Source.. by Matt Coker