Man wanted for allegedly threatening to kill Orange County judge

Byrom Zuniga Sanchez is a fugitive who is believed to be in Mexico, according to court documents.

City News Service
Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Man wanted for allegedly threatening to kill Orange County judge
A former Orange County resident who allegedly threatened to kill a sitting judge was charged by federal authorities, according to court documents.

ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (CNS) -- A former Orange County resident who allegedly threatened to kill a sitting judge was charged by federal authorities, according to court documents.

Byrom Zuniga Sanchez, 32, formerly of Laguna Niguel, is facing a felony charge of threat by interstate/foreign communication, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in Los Angeles federal court.

Zuniga is a fugitive who is thought to be in Mexico, according to an affidavit filed with the complaint.

Since May 16, Zuniga has sent communications threatening to kill an Orange County Superior Court judge who presided over a family court matter involving the defendant from 2019 to 2021, FBI Special Agent Tyler Call wrote in the document.

Additionally, Zuniga has allegedly threatened to kill or harm others, including judges, attorneys and law enforcement, the FBI agent wrote.

In July, Zuniga allegedly sent a threatening email message to the Orange County judge which said, "I am more committed to murdering you than I am to being present as a father'' and "Do you have any last words, apologies, or regrets you want to communicate before I lawfully kill you,'' the affidavit states.

Email messages from Zuniga also allegedly threatened to harm other judges, attorneys, and police officers. For example, the email sent in July also warned, "The remainder of my life will be dedicated to assassinating judges, attorneys, and a police station's entire shift staff,'' according to Call.

Zuniga is the subject of multiple domestic violence protective orders, pending arrest warrants and a workplace violence order, the affidavit states. He has multiple warrants in Orange County for state criminal offenses, including evading police/reckless driving, invasion of privacy, violation of a court order, and criminal threats, Call wrote.

In posts made on his Instagram account, Zuniga indicated he was in Morella, Mexico, according to the affidavit, which also said Zuniga lacks legal status in the United States and is subject to deportation.

Reports show that in May 2022, Zuniga led Orange County Sheriff's Department deputies on a chase after they were called to a home where he was allegedly violating a domestic violence court order. Deputies cornered Zuniga at a business location, where after negotiations lasting several hours, he ultimately surrendered, and was arrested, Call wrote in the affidavit.

A warrant was issued for Zuniga's arrest Sept. 8 when he failed to show in court for a domestic violence case dating back to May 4 of last year in which he violated a domestic violence court order and later led sheriff's deputies on a chase from Mission Viejo before barricading himself in a fast food parking lot in Foothill Ranch, where he refused to get out of his car for hours, according to court records.

Zuniga's former live-in girlfriend filed for a restraining order in April 2019, according to court records. She alleged that Zuniga posted four videos of their then-5-year-old son when he was upset to YouTube with comments accusing the mother of neglecting their son, according to the restraining order request.

In February of 2019, Zuniga was ordered to pay nearly $1,000 a month in child support, according to court records.

A family law court mediator in May of last year filed for a workplace violence restraining order against Zuniga, according to court records.

The mediator was assigned to an emergency mediation'' between Zuniga and the mother of their child in July 2020, she said in the restraining order request.

The mediator said in December 2021 she was tagged in an Instagram post that began a "pattern of harassment toward me with threatening and disturbing comments on Instagram.''

She said after she blocked him on the app her husband began receiving threats on another social media platform.

In one post captioned "You better pray!'' he allegedly commented, "Don't forget to say your prayers tonight while repenting for who you are, and the deafening corruption against innocent children that you have consciously enabled,'' the mediator alleged. "You had ample warning and opportunity to correct course. Accountability isn't a threat, it's a guarantee to prevent you people from harming others again. Sleep tight, the demons come out to play tonight.''

Zuniga also allegedly tagged the attorney who represented his ex-spouse and Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, the mediator said.

Zuniga is also facing two counts of misdemeanor disobeying a domestic relations court order on April 20 and 21, 2022, making annoying and repeated phone calls on June 8, 2021, and reckless driving and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors, on April 17. 2022, according to court records.

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