EL MONTE >> Two suspects have been charged with murder for the fatal stabbing of an El Monte man last month, officials announced Wednesday.
Following “a detailed and lengthy investigation,” into the Feb. 19 stabbing death of 22-year-old Alejandro Rojas, detectives identified two suspects and a SWAT team arrested them on March 2 during a raid at a home in the 11400 block of Kerrwood Street in El Monte, according to Deputy Lisa Jansen of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Information Bureau.
Prosecutors filed murder charges on Monday against Daniel Anthony Lopez, 22, and Adrian Alejandro Castillo, 25, both of El Monte, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said. Castillo is also accused of the special allegation that he personally wielded a knife in the killing..
Rojas was walking down the street in the 4200 block of Peck Road with his cousin when the suspects approached in a Nissan Sentra and pulled over alongside them, sheriff’s officials said.
“Suspect Castillo, a passenger, exited the vehicle and stabbed Victim Rojas,” Jansen said in a written statement. “Rojas with the assistance of his (cousin) ran from the location to a nearby residence and collapsed.”
Paramedics took Rojas to a hospital, where he soon succumbed to his injuries.
“Suspects Lopez and Castillo drove away from the scene and out of sight,” Jansen said. “The motive for the murder is unknown and there is no further information at this time.”
Lopez and Castillo appeared in the Pomona branch of Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday but entered no plea, Ardalani said. An arraignment hearing for both defendants was postponed to April 5.
According to county booking records, Castillo was being held without bail pending his court proceedings. He has prior convictions in Los Angeles County for crimes including vandalism and resisting police in January, as well as possession of a gun by a felon in 2014, driving with a blood-alochol level above .08 percent in 2013, and driving without a valid license in 2011, according to court records.
Lopez was being held in lieu of $2 million bail, records show. He has a single prior criminal conviction listed in Los Angeles County for trespassing in a structure in 2014.