PASADENA — Police announced new arrests and charges Wednesday in the fatal shotgun shooting of a 21-year-old Pasadena man during a marijuana robbery earlier this month.
A total of five people have been charged in connection with the Jan. 15 shooting death of Zane Goldstein, which occurred after the victim and his brother met the suspects for a small-scale marijuana deal, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
Police Wednesday revealed that the fatal shooting stemmed from a planned marijuana sale.
“The shooting of the victim was precipitated by Zane Goldstein and his (24-year-old) brother arranging to meet one of the suspects to sell a nominal amount of marijuana,” according to Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra.
“During the contact, the suspects attempted to rob the victims and a shooting ultimately occurred,” Ibarra said.
The exact amount of marijuana involved in the transaction was not available, however Ibarra described it as “less than an ounce.”
The Goldstein brothers had just driven away from an alleyway behind a Holliston Avenue apartment complex where they had met the suspects when they were followed by a car, police said.
The fatal shooting then took place around the corner at Chester Avenue and Maple Street.
Raymond Conchas, 23, of Covina, John Michael Piepoli, 19, and Ruby Conchas, 20, joined two other suspects already in custody earlier this week, according to police officials and custody records.
Peter Parra, 35, of Pasadena, and Kevin Jessie Cabrera, 25, of North Hollywood were arrested last week and charged Friday in connection with the shooting, officials said. Raymond Conchas was also charged with the killing, though he was not yet in custody at the time.
Raymond Conchas turned himself in to police Monday afternoon, according to police and Los Angeles County booking records. He had been sought, along with 20-year-old Stephanie Jacquez, since murder and other charges were filed against him Friday and his photograph released to the public.
Jacquez turned herself in alongside Raymond Conchas, police said. She was ultimately released without charges.
Ruby Conchas, who was previously arrested and released without charges pending further investigation, was re-arrested Tuesday and charged with being an accessory after the fact to the slaying, Ibarra said.
Investigators early Tuesday arrested a fifth suspect in the case, identified as 19-year-old John Piepoli II, according to police and booking records.
Following Tuesday’s arrests, no additional suspects were being sought.
“We have everybody in custody,” Ibarra said.
A felony complaint filed against the five defendants outlines a conspiracy that began the day before Zane Goldstein was shot to death.
Raymond Conchas told Piepoli and another man who is not charged in the case Jan. 14 that he wanted to rob Goldstein, according to the complaint. He then ordered the two men to arrange a marijuana deal with Goldstein.
The uncharged man gave Goldstein Raymond Conchas’ cell phone number on Jan. 15, and Conchas contacted Goldstein via text message to arrange a meeting place for the deal, according to court documents.
Cabrera is accused of meeting the Goldstein brothers and luring them into a rear alleyway off Holliston Avenue.
Parra pointed a loaded shotgun at Zane Goldstein, according to the felony complaint.
Parra and Conchas then pursued the Goldstein brothers a short distance to the area of Maple Avenue and Chester Street, officials allege.
According to the complaint, “Parra shot the victim once in the head.”
Ruby Conchas pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of being an accessory after the fact, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s spokeswoman Jane Robison said. She was due back in court Feb. 7.
In court documents, prosecutors allege she knowingly harbored, concealed and aided Raymond Conchas to help him avoid justice in the killing.
Parra, Cabrera, Raymond Conchas and John Piepoli all face charges of murder, with the special allegation of murder during the commission of a robbery, robbery, conspiracy, according to police and district attorney’s officials.
Parra, Cabrera and Raymond Conchas are also accused of gun enhancements, and the special allegation that the crime was committed for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
The special allegations make the four male suspects eligible for the death penalty, however prosecutors will not make a determination on whether to seek the death penalty until later in the legal process.
Parra, Cabrera and Conchas were scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 7 in Pasadena Superior Court, Robison said.
Piepoli was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday afternoon, however officials expected is arraignment to be continued to Feb. 7 to coincide with the other defendants.
A decision was pending Wednesday on whether charges would be filed against a 17-year-old Pasadena boy arrested the day after the shooting.