ID still pending on murder victim, suspect in court Christmas Eve

January 01, 2014
Santa Paula News

By Peggy Kelly 

Santa Paula Times 

Although the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office is still unable to publicly identify a man shot to death outside an area bar, his alleged slayer made a Christmas Eve court appearance.

Santa Paula Police Detective Allen Macias said a charge of felony homicide was filed against Jesus Montejo Cardoso, 29, of Santa Paula.

Cardoso allegedly shot a 22-year-old man once in the head on December 22 at about 1:20 a.m. as he was driving an SUV behind Ruben’s Lounge and Bar, located on the 1400 block of East Harvard Boulevard.

When police responded to the scene they found the SUV had rear-ended a parked pickup truck; the rear-windshield of the victim’s vehicle was shattered.

Cardoso, who was arrested later that morning at a friend’s North 14th Street home, allegedly was involved in a long-running feud with the victim.

Macias said Cardoso made his first court appearance December 24 and the suspected gunman, “Was held to answer for trial...”

Cardoso, who does appear to have a criminal record, will return to court January 28 for an arraignment. 

SPPD Lt. Ish Cordero said Monday the Medical Examiner’s Office reported the identity of the victim probably wouldn’t be released until Tuesday due to complications in notifying the next of kin. 

Both the victim and Cardoso are Mexican nationals that were employed in the agricultural industry.

The autopsy on the 22-year-old male victim showed he died from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.

The unidentified victim was working and living with friends in the South Mountain area of Santa Paula.

Investigators do not believe the incident, Santa Paula’s sixth homicide in 2013, was gang-related.

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