Former OC teacher arrested in 1994 Huntington Beach double murder

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- It's been 23 years since two young men were shot to death after an argument with a third man in downtown Huntington Beach.

Now police say they finally have identified and arrested a suspect - a now 64-year-old man living in Colorado who had been a teacher in Southern California at the time of the shooting.

Lamberto Ricci Castillo, 64, of Colorado, was arraigned Monday for the 1994 cold case murder.

On March 31, 1994, Kenny Paul Sommer and Chen "Cosmo" Maui Blanchard, both 23 at the time, were socializing near the area of Main Street and Orange Avenue in downtown Huntington Beach when Castillo allegedly confronted them.

Police say Castillo and his wife - both teachers - were involved in an argument with the two men over them apparently urinating in the street.

Investigators believe Castillo walked away after the argument and returned about 45 minutes later with a handgun, shooting both victims multiple times before fleeing the scene.

An off-duty police officer witnessed the altercation but not the shooting, authorities said.

When Huntington Beach police officers arrived to the scene, they discovered Sommer and Blanchard dead.

The case went cold until last April, when a tip came from Colorado, where Castillo now lives.

The families of the two victims are thankful an arrest has been made - but are still dealing with the pain the murders caused them 23 years ago. They also still find it hard to believe that such an argument could trigger a murder.

"We've all done something, so whatever started the fight - it doesn't mean you can take someone's life," said Alison Sommer-Castellanos, the sister of Kenny Sommer.

If convicted, Castillo faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and he is being held without bail.
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