Man Charged with Capital Murder for Killings in Covina, Azusa

A Long Beach man has been charged with fatally shooting two people, including his estranged wife, in a three-month span, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Miguel Angel Prieto (dob 11/14/74) has been charged with four felony counts in case KA117890: two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

The felony complaint includes a special circumstance allegation of multiple murders. Additionally, the charging document contains a special allegation that the defendant personally and intentionally discharged a handgun, which caused great bodily injury and death to the victims.

Furthermore, the complaint alleges Prieto has been previously convicted of assault with a deadly weapon in 2015.The defendant was scheduled to be arraigned today, but the court appearance was continued to June 28 in Department F of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Pomona Branch. Prieto is currently being held on no bail.

Deputy District Attorneys Leslie Bouvier and Babette Huley are prosecuting the case.

On April 11, Prieto allegedly went to his estranged wife’s Covina home, shot her several times, then fled the area, prosecutors said. Authorities were called and Maria Perez, 42, was pronounced dead.

Several hours after the incident, Prieto was located in Long Beach and arrested in connection with Perez’s killing, prosecutors added.

During the homicide investigation, law enforcement discovered Prieto allegedly was in Azusa on Feb. 9 when he mistook a man he believed was Perez’s boyfriend. The man was sitting with a woman in a car when Prieto reportedly walked up to the pair and shot them, prosecutors said.

The woman, Rocio Sandoval, 38, succumbed to her injuries, while the man was taken to the hospital for medical treatment, according to prosecutors.

Furthermore, authorities learned Prieto allegedly was involved in a third shooting on April 7, prosecutors said. The defendant reportedly visited Perez’s aunt’s restaurant in Long Beach and shot at a woman he believed to be the aunt, according to prosecutors.

If convicted as charged, Prieto faces the death penalty or life in state prison without the possibility of parole. A decision on whether to seek the death penalty will be made at a later date.

The case is being investigated by the Covina Police Department.

Los Angeles District Attorney / case KA117890: / May 10, 2018

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