California couple charged with murder of 6-year-old boy over traffic quarrel



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A couple charged with the death of a 6-year-old boy who was fatally shot on a California highway in a traffic accident will appear in court, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Marcus Anthony Eriz, 25, and Wynne Lee, 23, both of Costa Mesa, are expected to face charges on April 12 in connection with the death of Aiden Leos, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said.

Eriz is charged with one felony, each of murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and improving the personal discharge of a firearm resulting in serious bodily harm and death. He is being held in the Orange County Jail without bail.

Lee faces a felony accessory charge after committing and having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, a misdemeanor. She was released on electrical surveillance. They have both declared their innocence.

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Wynne Lee, 23, and Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, pleaded not guilty to charges related to the death of a 6-year-old boy in what authorities called a traffic accident on a California highway last month.
(Orange County, California)

The pair were arrested after a days-long manhunt and a $500,000 reward after Leos was shot while sitting in a booster seat in his mother’s car as they traveled on State Route 55 to drop him off at kindergarten.

His mother, Joanna Cloonan, said she waved her hand at the suspects after they cut her off. Then Eriz allegedly opened fire on the vehicle and shot the boy.

Cloonan said she then heard a loud bang, followed by her son saying, “Ouch,” after which she realized he was bleeding from his chest.

Orange County Prosecutor Whitney Bokosky wrote in a court motion that Eriz., after being arrested on June 6, admitted to researchers “that he was angry after being ‘thrown out’ by Mrs Cloonan, so he grabbed his loaded Glock 17 9mm and fired a shot.”

“He then rolled” [down] passenger window and fired at her vehicle,” Bokosky wrote. “After shooting the victim, [Eriz and Lee] on to the 91 eastbound and on to work in the town of Highland.”

A week after the shooting, Eriz was in another traffic accident and reportedly flashed a gun at a Tesla driver. He said he didn’t realize Leos had died until days later when a colleague said his Volkswagen Sports car resembled the one wanted by the police.

He is said to have shaved his head and changed his haircut.

“A monster with a gun killed a little boy on his way to kindergarten — because he was cut off on the highway,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said Wednesday. “The harshness of this crime is unspeakable, but the fact that this couple continued to hide in plain sight, knowing full well that they were murdering a 6-year-old child while Aiden’s grieving parents begged the killers to come forward, is [unforgivable]†

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Eriz faces 40 years to life in prison, while Lee faces up to three years in prison.

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