MAN CHARGED WITH SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES MURDER DURING ATTEMPTED RAPE FOR SEXUALLY ASSAULTING 68-YEAR-OLD WOMAN WHO LATER DIED

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was charged with special circumstances murder during attempted rape after the 68-year-old victim died due to injuries sustained in the assault.

Defendant Charges Minimum Sentence Court Date
Michael Aon Varela, 30, Garden Grove Charged on Sept. 22, 2017, in an amended complaint with the following felony count:

  • Murder

Sentencing Enhancement

  • Special Circumstances: Murder during the commission of attempted rape
Life in state prison without the possibility of parole Continued arraignment

Oct. 13, 2017, 10:00 a.m.

Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

  • On Sept. 10, 2017, at approximately 5:00 a.m., Varela is accused of attacking 68-year-old Jane Doe, whom he did not know, outside of a home in Garden Grove while she was on a walk.
  • The defendant is accused of assaulting the victim and attempting to rape her.
  • A witness called 911 and the Garden Grove Police Department (GGPD) arrested Varela at the scene.
  • The victim was transported to a local hospital and the defendant was initially charged with felony attempted murder and assault with intent to commit rape.
  • On Sept. 21, 2017, the victim died as a result of injuries sustained during the assault.

Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Herrera, Homicide Unit

*Defendant initially charged with attempted murder and assault with intent to commit rape

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 17WF1965 / September 28, 2017

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