An Orange County Superior Court judged sentenced San Juan Capistrano resident Robert Eugene Vasquez to life without the possibility of parole for killing his neighbor.
The district attorney called the Dec. 1, 2011 murder of Bobby Ray Rainwater Jr. a "vigilante" killing. Vasquez, under the influence of drugs and primed by a gossipy mother who accused Rainwater of being a pedophile, told deputies he had to protect the neighborhood from a "creeper."
While Rainwater was a registered sex offender, his crime involved an adult female, enior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh said during the June trial. In the predawn hours of Dec. 1, 2011, Vasquez hid in some shrubbery and ambushed Rainwater as he went about his daily morning routine of a smoke and helping some neighbors with their recycling bins.
Not only did Vasquez stab Rainwater a dozen times or so, he also nearly decapitated him just to make sure he was dead, Vasquez confessed to Orange County Sheriff's deputies. The tape was played at trial.
According to the Orange County Register, Bobby Ray Rainwater Sr. was too choked up to make a statement, so Baytieh read it for him.
“The last few minutes of Bob’s life must have been very terrifying and painful for him,” Rainwater Sr. wrote, the Register reported. “Not knowing what was happening or why, as you hit him in the head with a rock” before stabbing him.