A felon accused of gunning down his estranged wife inside a Kohl’s store in Whittier is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday on murder and child abuse charges.
Enrique Acosta, 41, of Whittier, allegedly shot and killed his 46-year-old estranged wife, Yvonne Annette Acosta, after they argued inside the Kohl’s store in the presence of their 8-year-old son, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors allege that Acosta violated a protective stay-away court order related to an earlier 2019 domestic violence conviction, but the District Attorney’s Office did not immediately confirm whether that order named Yvonne Acosta.
In addition to murder and violation of a court order, Acosta is facing one count each of child abuse under circumstances likely to cause great bodily injury or death, possession of a firearm by a felon and hit-and-run resulting in property damage, along with a gun allegation.
The criminal complaint alleges that he was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 2000, and online court records indicate that he was sentenced to 12 years in prison as a result of a guilty plea in that case, which was filed in 1998.
Officers were called at about 5:30 p.m. Dec. 22 to Whittwood Town Center on Whittier Boulevard near Santa Gertrudes Avenue after getting reports that shots were fired inside Kohl’s, according to the Whittier Police Department.
Yvonne Acosta was found on the floor inside the store and died at the scene.
Her estranged husband allegedly collided with the victim’s parked car as he fled in his vehicle, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Acosta was taken into custody the next day in the Barstow area and booked on suspicion of murder, with bail set at $3.1 million.
Whittier police Officer Hugo Figueroa told City News Service the day after the shooting that Acosta was the victim’s estranged husband, and that they had been separated for about a year. Yvonne Acosta did not work at the store, Figueroa said.
“They were having some type of verbal argument while she was checking out and, at some point, he produced a handgun and shot her,” Figueroa alleged.
If convicted as charged, Acosta could face up to 42 years and eight months to life in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.