Photo by Alexander Nguyen

A 36-year-old Santa Ana resident was behind bars Wednesday on suspicion of slashing the throat of another man in what investigators suspect was a drug deal gone bad in Costa Mesa.

John Raymond Breceda was being held in Orange County Jail in lieu of $1 million bail on a probation violation and is expected to be charged Thursday with murder, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy.

Breceda is accused of killing 44-year-old Floriberto Villasenor Cortes of Santa Ana on May 30, Murphy said.

Marcela Raye Gomez-Lee, 50, of Santa Ana, is charged with being an accessory after the fact and arson of property. She is scheduled to be arraigned July 17.

Cortes was apparently a drug dealer and the accused was allegedly a drug user, Murphy said. Investigators are unsure what triggered the killing, he said.

Investigators have video footage of the defendant and victim together just before the killing, and recovered a discarded sun visor from the victim’s car that has a bloody fingerprint allegedly left behind by Breceda, Murphy said.

Breceda allegedly slashed the throat of Cortes while in his car in the 2900 block of Peppertree Lane. The victim’s vehicle was found the next day, burning in a field near the Santa Ana (5) Freeway and Junipero Serra Road, according to Costa Mesa police Lt. Greg Scott.

Cortes tried to run away after his throat was slit, but collapsed nearby, according to Scott, who said Breceda allegedly fled the area in the victim’s vehicle.

Gomez-Lee was arrested June 25 and Breceda was arrested Tuesday, Scott said.

— City News Service 

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