A 39-year-old man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to fatally shooting a former co-worker while driving on the southbound Santa Ana (5) Freeway in Irvine.
Vicente Dulay Deguzman was arraigned in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana on a murder charge, with a sentence enhancement allegation of the discharge of a firearm causing death. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 22 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.
Deguzman is accused of killing 47-year-old Jessie Garcia Sr. of San Diego on June 7. The two were in a Kia Altima on the freeway when Deguzman, who was behind the wheel, allegedly shot Garcia and then abandoned the rental car south of Culver Drive, where it was found on the shoulder with the body inside about 7:30 a.m.
California Highway Patrol Officer Florentino Olivera said the car was rented under Deguzman’s name. He said the suspect was tracked down five days later at a Hilton Garden Inn in San Diego, where he barricaded himself inside for about two hours before authorities talked him into surrendering without incident.
A motive for the shooting was not released.
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