Friday, April 20 , 2018, 6:41 am | Fair 46º

 
 
 
 

Local News

Second Arrest Made in Olive Street Murder Case

A photo of Issac Efren Jimenez taken in February by Santa Barbara police.

A second suspect has been arrested and charged with the murder of a 21-year-old man in February, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Kelly Mitchell Hunt, 21, of Ventura suffered multiple gunshot wounds on the 1000 block of Olive Street on Feb. 19, and died later at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

On Wednesday, police announced they had arrested Issac Efren Jimenez, 23, of Ventura, and consider him to be the primary suspect in the case, along with Joseph Michael Castro, 20, of Santa Barbara, who was taken into custody early Tuesday from his Westside Santa Barbara home.

Castro was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and participation in a criminal street gang with bail set at $1.1 million.

Jimenez was arrested in Longview, Wash., on Tuesday afternoon by personnel from the Longview Police Department, assisted by Santa Barbara police detectives, after Jimenez exited the apartment where he had been residing. 

Issac Efren Jimenez was sporting a full beard when he was arrested Tuesday in Washington.

"Castro and Jimenez are considered the primary suspects in the conspiracy to murder and murder of Kelly Hunt," said Sgt. Riley Harwood. "There are, however, additional suspects in this case, and due to the ongoing nature of this investigation, additional details are being withheld."

Harwood said Jimenez is an associate of the same Santa Barbara area gang of which Castro is a member.

Santa Barbara detectives obtained a $1.1 million arrest warrant for Jimenez for the crimes of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and participation in a criminal street gang, and his apartment was searched, Harwood said.

Nine days after Hunt's murder occurred, Jimenez was interviewed and photographed by detectives, but left the Santa Barbara area shortly afterward, Harwood said.

He was in custody in Cowlitz County, Wash., and the process to extradite him to Santa Barbara County is under way.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper 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.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >