Riverside v 5150

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Riverside v 5150

Post  Shadowplay on Sun May 08, 2011 7:33 pm

RIVERSIDE MURDER: MySpace played role in case

10:44 PM PDT on Friday, May 6, 2011

By RICHARD K. DE ATLEY
The Press-Enterprise

A gang member was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday for the murder of a Riverside woman whose mother set up fake MySpace accounts that helped to break the case of her daughter's slaying.

Julio Heredia, 24, of Riverside was the gunman in the killing of Crystal Theobald, shot in the head on the night of Feb. 24, 2006, in the city's Arlanza neighborhood. She was 24 when she died and left behind two small daughters. The driver sitting next to her in the car was wounded.

Authorities said neither Theobald nor anyone in the car with her were gang members, but Heredia and others with him thought they were.
Story continues below
Crystal Theobald, MySpace investigation
Rodrigo Peña/Special to The Press-Enterprise
Joe Valencia, right, husband of the late Crystal Theobald, gives a hug to Belinda Lane, Crystal’s mother, in front of the courthouse. At left is Justin Theobald, Crystal’s brother.

Heredia and his companions were driving around in an SUV and a sedan, seeking to avenge an incident earlier that day in which a rival gang member fired a shot at one of them.

Ten other defendants charged in Theobald's slaying have pleaded guilty to an array of counts, from witness intimidation to attempted murder to gun and gang charges. Sentences ranged from probation to 18 years in prison. One suspect still is being sought.

Theobald's mother, Belinda Lane, was in a car ahead of the one carrying her daughter. She said Heredia, who had stepped out of the car he was riding in, pointed a gun at her before firing shots into the car where Theobald was seated.

Heredia told police he thought he was being attacked, but prosecutors said there was no evidence to support that during trial.

Internet help

Shortly after Theobald was buried, Lane turned to the Internet to get information on what happened the night of her daughter's murder.

She was tipped by people in the neighborhood that looking at MySpace might be a way to find out more about her daughter's slaying.

"You know, the streets talk," said Lane, who at the time lived in the same Arlanza neighborhood as many of those charged in the slaying. "We were given information by various sources, so we created a couple of bogus profiles on MySpace."
Story continues below
Crystal Theobald, MySpace investigation
Crystal Theobald was shot in 2006. Her organs were donated.

One account used a photo of Crystal, with the name "Angel."

Another was for a non-existent "Rebecca."

Both were aimed at getting the attention of members of the Arlanza-based Varrio 5150 street gang, suspected in Theobald's shooting.

"Rebecca" was the first site.

Using a picture of an attractive young woman, Lane made an online friendship with a man who was not involved in the shooting. But Lane's tipsters told her he had MySpace friends who were.

With that list of friends, more contacts followed.

Street-slang instant messages written by Lane, now 53, were soon going out to William Sotelo, the suspect still wanted in the murder case.

"hey what upp im new to myspace and i found ure myspacee. u look hott we should chill sometime u would like me and my friends," opened "Rebecca."

"hey they call me jokes from varrio 5150x3 south side but my real name is William," he said in one message from his MySpace sign-on. He also disclosed his cellphone number in the same March 30, 2006, exchange.

In another exchange, he revealed that he drove a Ford Expedition, the same kind of car used by suspected gang members on the night of the shooting.

Meanwhile "Angel" had created a phony "End of the World Party" that might draw others. "Angel" teased that those interested in the party -- with strippers and free booze -- would have to disclose a lot of information.

But as the June 6, 2006, party date neared, Lane went to the police. She said they advised her not to do anything further and not to name a location. She didn't plan to. She also handed over information about the MySpace sites.

It was the information from "Jokes" -- Sotelo -- that was the key, said Riverside police Det. Rick Wheeler, who was among those investigating the case.

He said detectives had bits and pieces -- someone named Jokes, a white SUV -- but the information gathered in the messages to "Rebecca" pulled enough together for Wheeler to seek Sotelo for a voluntary interview.

"He was the first one that gave us the clearest insight, and then other pieces began falling into place," Wheeler said. "He laid out quite a bit of the shooting to us ... others who testified gave more information, but he was a key piece to start with."

Police could not hold Sotelo on the basis of the voluntary interview, the detective said. "He went missing almost immediately."

Lane eventually decided to end the ruse and wrote a post from "Angel" on June 5, 2006: "Why did you .... murder me?"

The investigation continued, and charges were filed in August 2007.

outbursts

During the sentencing before Judge Christian F. Thierbach on Friday, deputies removed Theobald's relatives from the courthouse after a series of outbursts aimed at Heredia and his family, seated on the other side of the courtroom.

Two of the Theobald family members were detained, and the family said later one likely would be charged with disturbing the peace.

"You can only take so much," Belinda Lane said later. She and other family members earlier this year asked District Attorney Paul Zellerbach not to seek capital punishment in Heredia's case because they had a change of heart. Prosecutors withdrew the death penalty from the case.

Thierbach also sentenced Heredia on Friday to a separate 138-years-to-life prison term.

Thierbach said he was not convinced by claims that Heredia has the support and love of his family.

"Why didn't that family support system keep him from joining one of the most notorious, violent criminal street gangs in Riverside County? ... Mr. Heredia is not a good person, he is a violent, cold-blooded murderer, and he is going to pay a price for what he has done," Thierbach said before imposing the sentences.

Lane said she suffered a heart attack when she learned her daughter was brain dead. She said Theobald's heart, lungs and kidneys were donated and "are keeping five other people alive ... In death she did more than (Heredia) will ever be able to do if he's allowed to live a hundred years."

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Re: Riverside v 5150

Post  Shadowplay on Sun May 08, 2011 7:34 pm

The article says 5150 is one of Riverside counties worst gangs. Hmmmm....
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Re: Riverside v 5150

Post  American Zombie on Sun May 08, 2011 8:23 pm

Shadowplay wrote:R
Lane eventually decided to end the ruse and wrote a post from "Angel" on June 5, 2006: "Why did you .... murder me?"




That's crazy. Wounder how creeped out he was getting that message sent to him.
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Re: Riverside v 5150

Post  P_LOKO on Tue May 10, 2011 1:39 am

That was pretty crazy....for a person to receive that type of message....for a person to write it.
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Re: Riverside v 5150

Post  EVANS STR. GANG on Thu May 12, 2011 4:43 am

P_LOKO wrote:That was pretty crazy....for a person to receive that type of message....for a person to write it.

haa i knew that dude Jokes from 5150 he was pretty down but from what i see here he was pretty stupid as well.. i seen his myspace once thru a friend of mine and he had comments on his page saying 'KILLER!' idk if he was the shooter from what i see here it was Heredia which was that dude Big Huero but still pretty crazy to see it hit the news
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