A man currently serving two life sentences for a Northern California murder, as well as his part in a 100-mile interstate pursuit that stretched from Riverside County to Arizona and left his wife and accomplice dead, has been transported back to the desert to face charges related to shots fired at a motorist on Interstate 10.
Victor Pierre Bento Silva, 30, of Greenbrae, California, was sentenced to life imprisonment two years ago for the Feb. 28, 2015 death of Stephanie Lejean Hill, 37, Silva’s wife and accomplice in the 2015 robbery and murder of 84-year-old Olga Dinelli in Sonoma County. He also pleaded no contest to murder and robbery and was sentenced to life in Dinelli’s shooting death last year.
Following a wild chase that began in Coachella when law enforcement spotted their vehicle, which had been reported in connection with Dinelli’s murder, Hill was shot to death by a deputy in Arizona. Despite Silva not pulling the trigger, La Paz County prosecutors charged Silva with her murder on the theory that Silva’s actions in the pursuit — driving the Chevy Tahoe the pair used to flee authorities — caused Hill’s death.
Silva has similarly been charged by Riverside County prosecutors with assault with a gun and evading arrest for shots allegedly fired at a driver along Interstate 10, despite Hill being the one law enforcement believes fired the gun.
During the pursuit, a man driving along eastbound Interstate 10 between Cottonwood Springs Road and Hayfield Road was allegedly shot at by a woman in the passenger seat of a Chevy Tahoe that pulled up next to him, an arrest warrant declaration states.
The victim told police that “he believes the female was trying to shoot at his tires or scare him,” the declaration states. Though his vehicle was not struck by gunfire, the man allegedly heard a shot and pulled over to the side of the road, while the Chevy continued along Interstate 10 with pursuing police cars in tow.
Hill also shot by a Quartzsite, Arizona police officer who was laying spike strips in the roadway, according to the declaration, but the officer was not struck. The Tahoe was disabled by the spike strip, leading to Hill’s shooting death and Silva’s subsequent surrender.
Sheriff’s investigators picked Silva up from an Arizona prison and booked him into the Indio jail on Monday, according to county jail records.