OXNARD : Man Arraigned in 1989 Party Slaying

A former Oxnard man arraigned on murder charges in connection with a 5-year-old unsolved homicide pleaded not guilty in Ventura County Municipal Court on Tuesday.

Jose Villa, 28, was arrested about 11:30 p.m. Friday in Huntington Park after authorities received an anonymous tip that he was at his mother’s house, Ventura County Deputy Dist. Atty. Donald C. Glynn said.

Police had been searching for Villa since June 18, 1989, when he interrupted a child’s birthday party at Community Center Park in Oxnard and allegedly fatally shot Guillermo Ortega, who was in his 20s, Glynn said.

Ortega and Villa knew each other because Ortega’s sister is married to Villa’s uncle.


Witnesses to the killing had been uncooperative with police, making it difficult to track Villa down, Glynn said.

David F. Candelaria, Villa’s attorney, said that his client had nothing to do with the Ortega slaying. “We’re saying that he didn’t kill him,” said Candelaria, of Bakersfield. “It was somebody else.”

A preliminary hearing to determine whether Villa should stand trial is set for Sept. 6, but Glynn said prosecutors will seek a murder indictment through the Ventura County grand jury prior to that date.