The Southern California couple suspected in connection with the road rage killing of a 6-year-old boy last month will appear in court Tuesday, as officials promised to “get justice” for the child in what they described as a disturbing case.
Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24 and Wynne Lee, 23 were arrested Sunday at their home in Costa Mesa, located 40 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, in the death of Aiden Leos.
A vehicle, a white Volkswagen, and a gun used in the incident were recovered at different locations, California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Don Goodbrand said during a Tuesday news conference.
Officials declined to disclose details of what led to their capture or how the pair was linked to the shooting. Prosecutors are still deciding what charge to bring, said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.
“We are reviewing the evidence and we’re looking at every single legal theory in conjunction with that evidence,” he said.
“The one thing you don’t want to do in the criminal justice system is to make promises…we don’t want to make promises but there’s something about that that leaves me a little bit empty,” he added. “I do want to promise today that when Aiden was put below ground that we will get justice for him. We have to promise him that.”
Wynne Lee, 23, and Marcus Anthony Eriz, 24, have been arrested in the death of a 6-year-old boy in what authorities have called a road rage incident last month on a California freeway. (Orange County, CA D)
Eriz and Lee are being held in the Orange County jail on a $1 million bond each, according to jail records.
The arrests came after a two-week manhunt and a day after a weekend memorial service for Leos, who was remembered as a child with a vocabulary beyond his years who exuded warmth and tenderness.
Leos was shot on May 21 while seated in a booster seat on the rear passenger side of a car being driven by his mother, Joanna Cloonan, as she drove on State Route 55 in the city of Orange on her way to drop him off at school.
Cloonan said another vehicle cut her off and that she responded with a hand gesture. The other driver got behind her and someone fired a shot through the rear of the car, she told authorities. Leos was struck in the abdomen.
California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief Don Goodbrand talks at the podium during a news conference Monday and is joined by Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer third from left and other officials in Costa Mesa, Calif. (AP Photo/Amy Taxin)
Cloonan said she pulled over as well as a witness to try and save the boy’s life. Leos died at a hospital and was buried Monday in a private ceremony that was livestreamed online.
“You loved to play with toys for hours. You would create a whole world with characters within your vivid imagination,” Cloonan said at the service, FOX Los Angeles reported.
Eriz’s Instagram account shows him handling various types of firearms at a shooting range.
The Instagram account operated by Marcus Eriz, 24, features several videos of him shooting firearms. (Instagram / marcus_eriz13a)
He also had images of firearms on his social media accounts.
Marcus Eriz has multiple images of firearms and video of him firing handguns and rifles on his social media accounts. (Instagram / marcus_eriz13)
Within a week of the shooting, Spitzer voiced his frustration that no suspects had turned themselves in to police despite the highly publicized nature of the crime and the outpouring of grief and support.
“I was unequivocally clear with them. ‘Turn yourself in. Turn yourself in.’ And they didn’t,” he said. “So now it’s time for the [criminal justice] system to do what it’s designed to do.”
He also praised the national media for playing a pivotal role in helping to capture the suspects. A reward for identifying them had reached $500,000 by the weekend.
The killing came amid concerns over a spate of freeway shootings in Southern California.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.