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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.

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