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Local News

Man Pleads Guilty to Murder in 2015 Santa Maria Shooting Death

Wilfredo Rodriguez Chicas
Wilfredo Rodriguez Chicas

A 28-year-old defendant charged with fatally shooting another man last March pleaded guilty Wednesday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, and faces a sentence of 50 years to life in prison.

Wilfredo Rodriguez Chicas was charged with first-degree murder in addition to admitting a special allegation of discharging a firearm causing great bodily injury to Alejandro Diaz Alvarez, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office said.

After receiving reports of shots fired at 4:49 a.m. on March 16, 2015, officers arrived on the 900 block of West Morrison Avenue, where they found Alvarez in the parking lot of the La Vista Santa Maria Southeast Community.

Alvarez, 39, was warming up his vehicle before going to work when Chicas, who was hiding in the nearby bushes, attacked.

“When the defendant had the chance, he ambushed Mr. Alvarez in the parking lot of Mr. Alvarez’s apartment complex,” the District Attorney's Office said in news release.  “The defendant then shot Mr. Alvarez with a handgun.”

Alvarez died at the scene. Chicas was arrested hours later.

“This early guilty plea to first-degree murder is a result of the thorough investigation by the Santa Maria Police Department, which in turn led to providing comfort for the victim’s family as they try to recover from this despicable act of cowardliness and violence,” District Attorney Joyce Dudley said. 

Chicas will be sentenced to 50 years to life in state prison in Judge Gustavo Lavayen’s courtroom on Aug. 10.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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