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Editor’s Note: Bobby Ray Rainwater, a registered citizen, was brutally murdered on December 1 in the mobile home park in which he resided. According to the article below, police do not yet know the motive for the murder. Is this another case of vigilante violence?

Slaying Victim ‘Nearly Decapitated’

Arraignment postponed for accused killer. Meanwhile, new details emerge in last week’s mobile-home park killing.
ByPenny Arévalo
December 5, 2011

The knife-wielding neighbor accused of killing Bobby Ray Rainwater won’t enter a plea until Jan. 6.

At the request of Robert Eugene Vasquez’s attorney, his Tuesday arraignment was postponed until after the new year, said D.A. spokeswoman Farrah Emami.

Vasquez is accused of punching Rainwater in the back of the head and then stabbing him so many times that Rainwater was nearly decapitated.

The grisly new details were laid out by prosecutors Monday evening.

Vasquez, 34, has been charged with special circumstances murder for allegedly lying in wait for Rainwater, a 54-year-old registered sex offender who was found dead in front of his San Juan Capistrano mobile home last week.

Vasquez was also charged with aggravated assault in a separate attack two days later.

According to prosecutors, Vasquez waited outside Rainwater’s San Juan Hills Mobile Estates home on Alipaz Street early Thursday with the intention of killing him.

Vasquez first punched Rainwater in the back of the head, then stabbed him multiple times, “nearly decapitating him,” according to a district attorney press release. He then fled the scene.

If convicted, Vasquez faces a life sentence without the possibility of parole, according to the D.A.’s office. The addition of the special circumstances charge means he is also eligible for the death penalty.

Orange County Sheriff’s deputies originally arrested Vasquez for his alleged involvement in a second assault on Saturday, this one at another home in San Juan Capistrano. The D.A.’s office said Vasquez allegedly used a metal bar to hit Lance Lyons in the face while he was lying down. Lyons’ brother intervened to stop the attack from continuing, authorities said.

In the course of investigating that case, deputies connected Vasquez to the Rainwater slaying, the press release said. Investigators have not revealed possible motives.