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California

Man Sentenced to Life in State Prison without the Possibility of Parole for Stabbing-Murder of Neighbor…

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional eight years in state prison for murdering his mobile home park neighbor by stabbing him to death and assaulting a second victim two days later. Robert Eugene Vasquez, 36, San Juan Capistrano, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of special circumstances murder by lying in wait, one felony count of aggravated assault, and sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a deadly weapon and causing great bodily injury.

On the morning of Dec. 1, 2011, Vasquez waited outside of the home of his neighbor, Bobby Ray Rainwater, Jr., with the intention of murdering him because the victim was a registered sex offender. When the victim left his home, Vasquez attacked Rainwater by punching him in the back of the head. The defendant then stabbed Rainwater multiple times, nearly decapitating him. After murdering the victim, Vasquez fled the scene. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) began investigating this case. Full Article (Orange County DA Press Release)

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  1. Anonymous

    I am amazed this guy got life, true life in prison. However, with all life in prison sentences in California, he will get a little known “automatic appeal” process because of the definitive of this sentence.

    I don’t know what will happen there, but this is encouraging to see a harsh sentence for someone to clearly targeted sex offenders.

  2. Rocky Graciano

    Well, it seems that is what the purpose of the registry is for: to victimize sex offenders. There was a time where the info of a RSO was scant to just where on the map they might be.
    The registry is obviously punishment enough; why bother with a prison sentence if this us the case, right?

    • Janice Bellucci

      Murders of registrants are terrible things. One possible silver lining to this very dark cloud is that it clearly demonstrates that being on the registry is punishment. Are you listening U.S. Supreme Court? Your decision in Smith v. Doe was wrong just like your predecessors’ decision in Plessy v. Ferguson. Being in the registry = punishment, therefore, new laws being passed are ex post facto which is a violation of the U.S. (and CA) constitution!!

      • td777

        Don’t forget those of use for whom the registry is not ex post facto, but still cruel and unusual punishment.

  3. Anon

    I was attacked and had the bones in my face smashed in my backyard. I am on an ankle monitor and it occurred after my 9pm curfew. I had to call the Sheriff’s just to get permission to receive medical attention. The responding officers told me it was only a misdemeanor battery charge so not worth reporting as a crime. I was found on the registry and attacked in my home. This is the first I’ve spoken of it as I fear reprisals. But I think it’s true, the registry doesn’t assist in preventing crime. It seems to merely justify more aggression towards registrants. I hope this helps.

    • td777

      If any attorneys are reading this, someone needs to get in touch with this guy!!! The fact that he felt afraid of getting medical help due to his parole/probation terms and the fact that the officers who responded discouraged him from filing charges should both be grounds for lawsuits. I knew of a guy who died one night while on parole because he was so afraid of his parole agent, he refused to go to the hospital when he was having chest pains.

  4. jm

    These terrible tragic events make every family of a registrant fearful. After reading the families impact statement, how I wish they would have stated that having their loved one listed on a public registry site, contributed to his death
    and that the state and federal governments are partly to blame.

    • Guest

      …partly to blame?

      Without the public web site no one would have ever had reason to view this victim, with his decades old conviction, as anything but a good neighbor. Testimony supports this. Combine that with the environment of hate the OCDA has been creating over the past year and a half, and, voila, this happens. Surprise surprise.

      This man’s blood is 100% on the government’s hands.

  5. td777

    This kind of thing is the very reason I don’t live with my wife and child and remain homeless even after parole. I can’t put them in harms way like that.

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