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Police Await Ballistics Tests on Revolver : 2 Charged in Slayings at Costa Mesa Bar

Times Staff Writer

Two men were arraigned in Orange County Harbor Municipal Court Wednesday in connection with the March 22 slayings of a Costa Mesa bar owner and another man whose bodies were found in the bar.

Michael S. Tate, 23, a transient, was charged with murder, Costa Mesa Police Lt. Gary Johnson said. Gerald R. Granados, 39, of Santa Ana was charged with aiding and abetting a murder.

Both men were held without bail at the Orange County Jail. While police say they have no evidence of a robbery at the bar, the Lion’s Den, they believe robbery was the motive.

Police would only say their investigation led to Tate and Granados. Tate was stopped while walking along a Tustin street Tuesday and arrested after he allegedly gave officers false identification. He was later booked into the Costa Mesa City Jail on suspicion of murder and held without bail pending his arraignment, Johnson said.

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Granados, allegedly a friend of Tate, was arrested Tuesday in the 1600 block of Placentia Avenue in Costa Mesa near a firm where he works as a temporary laborer, Johnson said. Granados was booked on an outstanding arrest warrant charging him with burglary, booked into the Costa Mesa jail and held on $10,000 bail.

Johnson said both men were re-booked on the murder charges late Tuesday after a .38-caliber revolver that investigators believe to be the murder weapon was located. Johnson said detectives traced ownership of the gun to one of the two men but are still awaiting ballistics tests to confirm that the weapon was used in the slayings.

Lawrence L. Rohr, 48, of Costa Mesa, and Jose R. Arriaza, 38, a native of El Salvador, were found shot to death in the office of the bar about 5 a.m. Police said Wednesday they still don’t know why both men were in the bar after it closed. An employee found the bodies when he arrived for work, police said.


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