Man Wanted In 2005 Santa Rosa Murder Captured In Shasta County (PHOTO)
(BANT) – Officers from multiple agencies, including the FBI, apprehended a man in rural Shasta County Wednesday who was wanted on suspicion of a 2005 Santa Rosa killing.
Just after dawn, Santa Rosa police officers, FBI agents and Shasta County sheriff’s deputies arrested Ricardo Puentas after surrounding the home he was in and demanding his surrender, according to police.
Initially, Puentas refused to come out and picked up an infant child while barricading himself inside. After about ten minutes talking with SWAT officers through an open window, Puentas came outside and was arrested without a struggle.
Santa Rose police say they’ve been looking for Puentas for 12 years and have pursued hundreds of leads regarding his whereabouts. Police believe Puentas shot 27-year-old Semere Haile Girmai several times at an apartment on Hoen Avenue over drugs and a gang dispute.
Two other men, Matthew Edward Moore and Omar Chavez of Santa Rosa, were also arrested several years ago in the killing. Charges against Moore were dismissed in 2005 for lack of evidence. Chavez was arrested in 2007, and two separate juries deadlocked on the murder charges against him.
Chavez pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, and was sentenced in 2010 to five years in prison, according to Sonoma County Superior Court records.