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Suspect in ’85 Killing Arrested in Mexico

Times Staff Writer

A man sought since 1985 in the slaying of his cousin during a card game in Panorama City was arrested Thursday in Mexico after attempting to intimidate the victim’s mother, Los Angeles police said.

Pedro Garcia Chavez, 44, was arrested by police in Ciudad Guzman in the state of Jalisco and was being held without bail in the Dec. 6, 1985, killing of his cousin, Arnoldo Rodriguez Chavez, 35, of Pacoima, said Detective Mel Arnold.

Garcia Chavez was arrested by Mexican authorities after breaking windows and shooting a gun at a home where Rodriguez Chavez’s mother lives, authorities said. Police could not immediately provide the woman’s name.

“He was trying to intimidate her,” said Detective Gilberto Moya, of the Police Department’s foreign prosecution unit. “We are not sure why.”

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Arrest Warrant

After Garcia Chavez was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, the woman told Mexican police that he was wanted in the Los Angeles killing, Moya said. Mexican authorities then learned that Los Angeles police had filed an arrest warrant with them in 1986, Moya said. Garcia Chavez is being held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned on a murder charge Saturday in Guadalajara, Moya said.

Los Angeles police said Garcia Chavez fled to Mexico shortly after the fatal shooting of his cousin in an apartment in the 8400 block of Ventura Canyon Avenue. The shooting happened during a dispute over a card game, police said.

Garcia Chavez is a Mexican citizen and will be prosecuted in his homeland for the Los Angeles murder, authorities said. Mexico refuses to extradite its citizens to face trial in the United States but agrees to prosecute them for crimes committed here.

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