Jail Inmate Arrested in Man's Death


A 32-year-old inmate originally considered a suspect in the April fatal shooting of a popular Avenue grocery clerk was arrested Thursday in connection with the crime while serving time in Ventura County Jail on unrelated drug charges, authorities said.

Richard John Geise of Ojai was booked on suspicion of murder by Ventura police in the shooting of Alejandro Alvarez, Lt. Quinn Fenwick said.

Alvarez, a 35-year-old married father of two, was gunned down April 6 while working at Central Market on Ventura Avenue.

Geise also was booked on suspicion of robbery in the April 5 holdup of Dominos Pizza driver Israel Cardenas in Ventura, Fenwick said.

Officials in the district attorney's office said Geise will be charged with murder and robbery today. Geise remains in custody in lieu of $1.4-million bail.

Fenwick said while investigators are pleased with the arrest, "nothing will replace the loss to the Alvarez family of a father and a husband."

The other suspect in the grocery store shooting, Alfonso Acosta Delgado, was fatally shot May 13 by a Ventura special tactics officer at the Channel Drive home of Delgado's grandparents.

Police say Geise and Delgado entered the market about 1 p.m. wearing masks and demanded money. But before Alvarez and others at the store could comply, the suspects opened fire, police and witnesses said.

Store co-owners Mohan and Balbir Singh were shot in the holdup but survived. Alvarez staggered out the front door of the market and collapsed.

Thursday's arrest of Geise capped weeks of chasing leads and interviewing and re-interviewing witnesses, Fenwick said.

Geise was arrested a day after the killing at a Ventura hotel on narcotics possession charges.

The Ojai resident has an arrest record that dates back nearly a decade, authorities said. Arrest allegations include illegal possession of firearms, possession of illegal narcotics and possession of narcotics with the intent to sell.

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