Drug deal, robbery gone bad led to slaying of man found near Goldenrod, records show

A drug deal and robbery scheme gone wrong led to the killing of a 22-year-old man whose body was found in a wooded area in east Orange County on Wednesday, arresting documents show.

Deputies found the body of Luis Melgar-Briones in a wooded area near Goldenrod and Curry Ford roads about 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday. His death was quickly determined to be a homicide.

Two suspects have been arrested in the killing. Michael Borgos, 19, and Juan Carlos Serrano, 24, were jailed on first-degree murder, armed kidnapping and robbery charges.

Arresting documents state that investigators were alerted to the killing by a witness who told deputies he had been contacted by Serrano, who he knew as "Baya," by phone on Tuesday.

The man said he agreed to give Serrano a haircut in exchange for cocaine at Serrano's home on Honeycomb Street. There, reports state he met Melgar-Briones, identified as "the man with the drugs."

Serrano didn't have the money to pay for the cocaine, and Melgar-Briones agreed to take his phone as collateral and return later, the reports state.

Deputies say Serrano suggested to Borgos and the witness that they should rob Melgar-Briones when he returned. The witness told deputies he backed out of the plan, because he's on probation.

When Melgar-Briones returned, the witness said Borgos and Serrano went outside. Before leaving the home, Borgos grabbed a knife from the kitchen and put in his pants, reports show.

The witness said he later saw the pair without Melgar-Briones, and watched Serrano drive away in Melgar-Briones' car. When he returned 30 minutes later, reports state Serrano's pants were covered in blood.

According to arrest reports, "Serrano then spontaneously uttered that he had stabbed Melgar-Briones and the matter was done."

The witness said he panicked and left, reporting the incident the following morning. Investigators canvassed the area, finding Melgar-Briones' body and arresting Borgos and Serrano.

After their arrests, deputies say the pair confessed to the killing, describing it as a drug deal and robbery "gone bad." Arrest reports state that the men both stabbed Melgar-Briones multiple times.

Deputies said Serrano ditched the body and the victim's car, which was found at the Cypress Run apartment complex, less than a mile from Serrano's home.

Borgos and Serrano were being held without bail on Thursday. Melgar-Briones' death marks the 21st homicide investigated by the Sheriff's Office this year. His family couldn't be reached for comment.

Corrections records show both men have been arrested several times in Orange County. Borgos is currently on probation stemming from a 2009 Orange County arrest on grand theft charges.

jeweiner@tribune.com or 407-420-5171

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Comments
Loading