Wednesday, January 18 , 2017, 3:20 am | Fair 43º


Local News

Murder Defendant Now Facing Sex Charges

Charles Alonzo Owens, 24, arraigned Tuesday on allegations stemming from cold case slaying investigation

Charles Alonzo Owens
Charles Alonzo Owens

A 24-year-old Lompoc man already facing a murder trial stemming from the slaying of a rival gang member five years ago was arraigned Tuesday on rape, sodomy and other charges, according to the Lompoc Police Department.

Charles Alonzo Owens was already in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail when the new charges were added, according to Lompoc police Sgt. Chuck Strange.

Earlier this month, after a lengthy preliminary hearing, Owens was ordered to stand trail for first-degree murder in the shooting death of Michael Spradling, 25, who was gunned down in a Lompoc alley in June 2007.

The killing was considered a cold case until last fall, when Lompoc detectives reopened the investigation. Owens, who already was in custody for a parole violation at the time, was arrested in late December.

The new charges, which involve a single alleged victim, came as a result of the homicide investigation, Strange said. Further details were not provided.

“The sex-related charges are a spinoff of the cold case,” Strange said.

The latest charges include rape, forced sodomy, attempted oral copulation, domestic battery and witness intimidation, Strange said.

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