Pictured (L-R): Anthony Arteaga, original Arteaga wanted poster, Paul Casey.
A man who fled to Mexico after allegedly killing a Rancho Cucamonga man with a shotgun seven years ago is expected to be extradited to California in the coming weeks to face murder charges.
Anthony Arteaga, 23, is nearing the end of a jail term in Mexico, and is expected to arrive in California in early October to face charges for the slaying of 33-year-old Paul Casey, said Deputy District Attorney Reza Sadeghi.
Arteaga allegedly killed Casey with a shotgun blast to the chest on Sept. 7, 2002 in the course of a confrontation between Casey and a group of taggers that included Arteaga.
Following the incident, Arteaga fled the country. Federal authorities located Arteaga in 2007 in Mexican jail, where he was serving a four-year sentence for a gun possession charge under an assumed name.
“Our understanding is that (Arteaga’s release date) should be early October, so sometime in early October he should be released from Mexican custody and turned over to our custody,” Sadeghi said.
Casey’s family members are “very happy” that Arteaga will be returned to California to face charges, Sadeghi said.
“They’ve been waiting for this day for a long time,” Sadeghi said.
The evening of Sept. 6, 2002, Casey, a friend and both men’s wives went to a Rancho Cucamonga bar to shoot pool and relax, Casey’s friend testified at a November 2002 preliminary hearing for one of Arteaga’s co-defendants.
When Casey and his friend walked home from the bar around midnight, they encountered a group of taggers who were standing near a bus stop at the intersection of Carnelian Avenue and Base Line Road.
The group of taggers, which included Arteaga, tried to block Casey’s path as the men passed, and a verbal exchange ensued, Casey’s friend testified.
One of Arteaga’s friends retreived a shotgun from his home nearby and fired at Casey and his friend from a distance, missing the men.
He then handed the gun off to Arteaga, who chased down Casey and shot him in the chest during a struggle, the friend testified.
Arteaga, who was 16 at the time of Casey’s killing, faces a life prison sentence if convicted of murder.
Three other members of the tagging group were convicted as part of Arteaga’s case, with two of the men receiving two-year prison sentences and another receiving an 11-year sentence.