On March 5, 2008, law enforcement officers responded to a 911 report of an injured man. They found Timothy Royce, a 27-year-old taxicab
driver, lying in an alley, dying of gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Timothy's cab was nearby with the engine
running. The three defendants later charged with the crime---Archunde, Gallegos, and Pacheco---had called for a cab, intending to rob the
driver to obtain bail money needed for a relative.
Archunde pled guilty to first-degree murder, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, and was sentenced to spend his natural life in the
Department of Corrections. The two female defendants were also sentenced to prison: Gallegos pled guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced
to seven years in prison. Pacheco pled guilty to second-degree murder and armed robbery. She was sentenced to 22 years in the Department of
At the time of Timothy's murder, his fiancee was several months pregnant with their son. The Crime Victim Compensation fund paid $6,458 to
assist with crime-related expenses and paid $13,542 to Timothy's young son for loss of economic support.
Dianna Barsotti, Timothy's mother, states,
"I am haunted by images of my son dying alone in an alley with two bullets in his back. At first I thought I could rebuild my shattered
life, but Tim's senseless murder has darkened my world forever. I always see the emptiness where Tim should be: by his son's side when he
takes his first steps, loses his first tooth, or hits his first home run."
Fearing that a 22-year-old man, Alfred Zamora Caballero, might be having an inappropriate relationship with her 13-year-old daughter,
Mrs. Camarena had forbidden her daughter to have contact with the man. On June 5, 2009, the girl returned home, claiming she had been to
see a movie with a girlfriend. Suspicious, Mrs. Camarena
followed the car that had just dropped her daughter off. As
she got close enough to confirm that the driver was in fact
Caballero, he pulled out a gun and began firing at her car.
Three bullets struck the car, but fortunately Mrs. Camarena
was not hit. Stunned, shaken, and terrified, she called 911 immediately.
Later, Mrs. Camarena said, "We were in constant fear of
what this man would do to us so we decided to move to a new
Caballero pled guilty to aggravated assault and was sentenced to 7.5 years in the Department of Corrections.
Dorothy "Betty" Carras
Betty Carras, an active 81-year-old, had spent the evening of May 22, 2008, volunteering at an event at Tohono Chul Park. She had spoken by phone with a niece when she got home that night, and she had plans to walk with a friend the next morning. When Betty failed to appear for their walk, the friend went to Betty's home but could get no response. She then called another friend who had a key to the house. Upon entering, they found Betty had been murdered in her bedroom. An autopsy determined that she had been sexually assaulted and had died of strangulation.
John Vincent Nitzke, a total stranger, was linked to the case through DNA evidence. A bench warrant issued, and Nitzke was arrested in California less than six weeks after the murder. He pled guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Crime Victim Compensation paid a total of $1,273 to assist with crime-related expenses.
Betty's daughter, Dorrie Keough, said, "Betty was a mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, and friend to so many. Betty's death changed our lives forever. The question: "why did this happen?" cannot be answered. We work to understand what can't be understood, and we find ways to celebrate life."
In January 2007, Christopher Ellis reported that, as a young teenager, he had been sexually molested by Gary Underwood, a priest in the Catholic
Church. Underwood had befriended Christopher, had encouraged him to become an altar boy, and had offered support when Christopher's parents
divorced. Between August 1985 and January 1986, when Christopher was 14 years old, Underwood molested him multiple times. The offenses occurred
in a church building and at a hotel during a wedding reception. In August of 2008, Underwood admitted having sexually assaulted Christopher and
Christopher said, "The hardest thing for me was to have to relive what happened to me. When it originally happened, I was able
to separate myself from it. But 22 years later it was much more difficult. My prosecutor and victim advocate made it easier;
they all did an amazing job."
Underwood was sentenced to
eight years in the Department of Corrections and placed on lifetime probation.
Lucea Leach and Edward Henry Marshall met at work and became friends. He lived as a guest in her home until his relapse into substance abuse
made him unwelcome there. After being asked to leave, Marshall began to harass and threaten Lucea with numerous phone calls, voice mail messages,
and unexpected visits at her office. As his threats and harassment escalated, she obtained an Order of Protection, which was served on Marshall.
Nonetheless, in January 2009 he appeared at her residence and forcefully gained access, breaking down both an entry door and Lucea's bedroom door.
While she was on the telephone with a 911 operator, Marshall attacked Lucea, hitting her repeatedly with
his fist and a rock, then choking her until
she lost consciousness. Marshall eventually pled guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence. He was sentenced to
serve 4.5 years in the Department of Corrections.
At the time of sentencing, Lucea stated, "My home and sanctuary, where I was attacked, is a constant reminder of the awful day
when I was brutally assaulted. My sense of security and trust were radically altered, and feelings of depression, anxiety,
and shame invaded my life. However, my faith and the loving support of my family have afforded me the strength to work through
my physical and emotional pain so that I may be a voice for victims of domestic violence."
On May 17, 2009, Christopher Santillano was driving south on Alvernon Way at a speed of 72 miles per hour in a 45-m.p.h. zone. His vehicle
ran a red light on Irvington Road and slammed into a car carrying 25-year-old Ursula Martin. Ursula was ejected from the vehicle and was
found unconscious on the roadway; the driver of the car had to be extricated from what remained of it. Santillano, who was uninjured, got
out of his car and walked over to the victims vehicle. But instead of rendering aid or summoning help, he returned to his own vehicle, which
had begun to burn, and started removing his stereo equipment. Ursula was transported to the hospital, where she underwent surgery for multiple
internal injuries but died the next morning. Santillano pled guilty to manslaughter and endangerment and was sentenced to 19 years in the
Department of Corrections.
Karen Martin-Milliner, Ursula's mother said, "I loved my daughter very much. Ursula was my firstborn, and since it was
just the two of us for the first four years, we had a special bond that only grew stronger as she got older. Ursula did
not deserve this. She was the daughter you prayed for, the sister you looked up to and the friend you could always count