crime scene do not cross tape strung across an area of the street
Photo by Tex Texin at flickr


A Santa Ana probationer with a lengthy criminal history was behind bars Tuesday on suspicion of killing his companion, whose body was found Monday in an apartment known to police for drawing multiple complaints regarding narcotics and other disturbances.

Mark Lewis Amacher, 38, was booked Monday night on suspicion of murder and was being held without bail.

Police have not released the identity of the victim, who was in her late 50s, because they have not yet contacted all of her family members, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

Amacher and the victim were a couple, Bertagna said.

“There’s some talk that they may have been married, but they don’t know that yet,” he said.

Amacher had been released last Wednesday from jail, where he’d been held since being arrested July 31 for probation violations, according to court records.

Another man who was questioned about the murder on Monday was arrested on a felony burglary warrant, according to police. Braden Andrew Buck, who is being held without bail, is not believed to have participated in the killing, Bertagna said.

Buck called 911 about 3 a.m. Monday to report that the victim was “hurt and needed medical attention” at 215 S. Birch St., he said.

The apartment where the woman was found dead has drawn numerous calls for police service, according to Bertagna.

“We come to this location on a regular basis for narcotics and disturbance calls,” he said.

Court records show that Amacher was arrested in June and sent to jail for 10 days on a probation violation for failing to report to a probation officer and enroll in a drug treatment program. After he got out of custody, he twice failed to report to his probation officer in July, so a bench warrant was issued and he was picked up at the end of the month, according to court records.

According to a recent probation report, Amacher has a criminal history dating back to 1995 with arrests and convictions for receiving stolen property, larceny, grand theft, arson, burglary, petty theft, possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, transporting drugs, theft of elderly, passing bad checks, battery on a spouse, corporal injury on a spouse, vandalism and assault with a deadly weapon.

On March 20, Amacher pleaded guilty to violating a stay-away order and assault, both misdemeanors, and was sentenced to 120 days in jail and placed on three years of probation.

On Aug. 7, he pleaded guilty to contempt of court for disobeying a court order in a domestic violence case and was sentenced then to 10 days in jail, according to court records.

Buck has a case pending involving two counts each of second-degree burglary and identity theft, and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card, stemming from alleged crimes that happened last October, according to court records. He pleaded not guilty May 31 and is due in court on Wednesday for a pretrial hearing.

–City News Service

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