A Southern California couple were charged Tuesday with the road rage death of Aiden Leos, 6, last month, with the man charged with murder.
Prosecutors in Orange County, Calif., Charged Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, with murder and shooting at an occupied vehicle. He also faces sentence improvements. Eriz’s girlfriend, Wynne Lee, 23, has been charged with being an accomplice after the fact and illegally carrying a concealed firearm.
“As for the charges against the two, I have absolutely no doubts that they are solid,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
The couple’s indictment on Tuesday was postponed to June 18 and a judge set their bond at $ 2 million for Eriz and $ 500,000 for Lee pending this hearing. Eriz could face 40 years in life in prison if convicted on all counts. Lee faces up to three years in prison and one year in county jail.
Eriz and Lee were arrested Sunday after a week of searching for suspects in the boy’s murder on a southern California highway. Aiden was gunned down on May 21 on State Route 55 in Orange, southeast of Los Angeles, while his mother was driving him to kindergarten.
Authorities said they believed Lee was driving and Eriz fired the shot that killed the boy.
According to the boy’s mother, Joanna Cloonan, and those who stopped to help him, Cloonan waved his hand at a vehicle that cut her off, which then drove behind her, and someone fired. on Cloonan’s vehicle. Aiden, who was sitting in the back seat, was shot in the abdomen and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
The affair stunned the region and made national news.
“It could have happened to any of us. We all drive on the freeways in Southern California,” Spitzer said Monday. “We all got mad at other motorists; other motorists got mad at us. I threw a few gestures on myself. But it never happened to be a violent situation, and certainly not in my kingdom or yours at the loss of a life. ”
Learn more about the Aiden Leos case:Two people arrested in connection with death of 6-year-old boy in road rage shootout
California Highway Patrol Deputy Chief Don Goodbrand said Monday authorities recovered the weapon used in the attack and the vehicle the suspects were driving in, a white Volkswagen Golf SportWagen.
Police had appealed to the public for information on the case and offered a reward of up to $ 500,000, and Goodbrand said authorities had received several tips helpful to the investigation. It is not known if someone will receive reward money or how much. Goodbrand declined to answer questions about the award.
The Los Angeles Times reported that investigators identified the couple after they got a tip and improved a picture of the vehicle’s license plate. They also discovered that the two were on their way to work in the Inland Empire area of Southern California and were in the area of the shooting when it happened.
It was not immediately clear whether Eriz and Lee had lawyers. They were being held in the Orange County Jail on $ 1 million bail.
“The joy he brought into our lives was insurmountable”: Mother praises 6-year-old boy killed in suspected road rage shooting
CHP captain Mike Harris said on Monday he spoke to Aiden’s mother about the arrests.
“I confronted her on FaceTime,” he said. “I let him know what had happened. She was very emotional.
Cloonan had demanded justice at a memorial service for his son the day before the arrests. She said Aiden brought “insurmountable” joy to her life.
“While it will not bring you back into our arms,” she said, “it scandalizes me that such a precious and beautiful soul did not have the opportunity to continue to become a young man and found her own family day while fulfilling her heart’s desires.
Contributor: Steven Vargas, USA TODAY; The Associated Press