A 43-year-old Perris man who gunned down his next-door neighbor during a noise dispute, shooting him more than a dozen times, was convicted Thursday of murder.
A Riverside jury deliberated one day before finding Alexander Richard Aguayo guilty in the 2018 slaying of 37-year-old Raul Carbajal.
Along with the murder count, jurors convicted Aguayo of possession of an assault rifle, carrying a loaded firearm without a permit and sentence-enhancing gun and great bodily injury allegations.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bernard Schwartz scheduled a sentencing hearing for Oct. 22 at the Riverside Hall of Justice. The defendant is expected to receive 50 years to life in state prison.
He was being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to a trial brief filed by Deputy District Attorney Nick Kliebert, on the afternoon of May 4, 2018, Aguayo was leaving his house in the 1400 block of Sweet Bay Drive, near Nuevo Road, when he encountered Carbajal, who was using an industrial vacuum to clean his vehicle in the adjacent driveway.
The two men did not acknowledge one another. However, home security surveillance video cameras at several neighboring residences — including one directly across the street from Aguayo’s — captured him carrying and placing a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun inside his vehicle.
Kliebert said Aguayo drove away and got food from a Del Taco, then returned home 20 minutes later, becoming incensed when he spotted Carbajal continuing to use the vacuum.
“During the next few minutes, the defendant is seen repeatedly saying something to the victim, walking up to the wall (separating their driveways), looking over it, even walking down and around it for a short period,” according to the prosecution’s brief. “During this period, the victim is moving in and around his garage and driveway, cleaning his car but also speaking aggressively to the defendant.”
The verbal exchange lasted several minutes, escalating into a vociferous standoff between the two men positioned in their respective driveways.
“The victim is seen swinging his vacuum hose,” Kliebert wrote. “As the hose hits the defendant in the upper body, he grabs the hose, taking control of it. He simultaneously pulls the handgun out of his right side and begins firing at the victim. As the victim retreats into his garage, the defendant steps over the wall and follows him while firing all the rounds in the gun.”
A total of 14 shots went through Carbajal, according to the brief.
Court papers said that Aguayo jumped into his car and sped away, stopping briefly to drop the pistol in a storm drain.
Neighbors, including a registered nurse, came to Carbajal’s aid, but he died at the scene moments later.
Sheriff’s deputies swarmed the location, and a patrolman spotted Aguayo driving a few blocks away, culminating in a traffic stop and arrest. The defendant confessed to the shooting and showed the deputy where to find the handgun.
On learning that Carbajal might be dead, the defendant responded, “Well, at least he won’t mess with my family again,” according to the brief.
A search of his property turned up an unregistered high-capacity rifle and “multiple 30-round magazines” in the house, according to the prosecution.
It was unclear how long the two neighbors had been at odds.
Aguayo had no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.
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