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San Juan Capistrano man gets life in prison for killing neighbor

August 24, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A San Juan Capistrano man convicted of stabbing his neighbor to death was sentenced Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Earlier this year, a jury found Robert Eugene Vasquez, 36, guilty of one felony count of special circumstances murder by lying in wait and one felony count of aggravated assault.

The Orange County District Attorney's Office said Vasquez waited outside the San Juan Capistrano home of Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr. back on Dec. 1, 2011, with the intention of murdering him because he was a registered sex offender. When Rainwater walked outside, Vasquez punched and stabbed him several times until he was nearly decapitated, authorities said.

Rainwater died from his injuries. Soon after, the Orange County Sheriff's Department began investigating the case.

Two days later, Vasquez went to a friend's home and assaulted a man with a metal object, the D.A.'s office said. The victim survived but suffered major injuries.

During Friday's sentencing, a statement from Rainwater's family was read to the court, which said in part: "The Rainwater family and our neighbors are hurting because of the action you chose that morning. We are getting better as time goes by, but we will not forget Bob. We will always have loving thoughts of Bob and the fun time we shared with him."


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