Lance Corporal Eddie Mesa, second from left


Lance Corporal Eddie Mesa, second from left

Marine Implicated in Mesa Stabbing Can Deploy to Japan

Lance Corporal Eddie Mesa Will Return to Santa Barbara for Preliminary Hearing

A judge ruled Monday that Eddie Mesa, a lance corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, will be able to deploy to Okinawa, Japan, with his unit as his case moves toward a possible trial. Mesa is charged with accessory to attempted murder for his alleged role in a near-fatal stabbing at a Mesa party in April. Two other men have been charged in the assault, and their cases are linked with his.

As part of his initial bail agreement, Mesa surrendered his passport and was ordered not to leave the country. But his defense attorney, Robert Sanger, successfully lobbied the court this week to let Mesa travel overseas with his Marine unit. Sanger said there’s no evidence to suggest Mesa was directly involved in the stabbing and that a number of witnesses are still being interviewed. He cited his client’s patriotism and past military tours in Afghanistan and South Korea, saying he has his commanding officer’s support.

Deputy District Attorney Ali Neuffer argued against letting Mesa deploy, explaining she was concerned he wouldn’t return for his preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for July 17 and 18. Sanger countered that Mesa is a career Marine, and he wouldn’t let a bench warrant ruin his record. Sanger will stand in for Mesa when he and the other defendants — Sean Crane and Michael Hardy — appear back in court July 9 for a status hearing.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

event calendar sponsored by:

Amtrak Strikes Man on Tracks in Montecito

A man was killed this morning on the railroad tracks near Montecito's Olive Mill Road.

Montecito Manhunt Underway for Third Suspect

Police have been searching since Wednesday evening for three burglary suspects; two are in custody.

Cruces Fire Update

Thursday morning report from County Fire expects full containment by this evening.

Young and Poor in Santa Barbara

Teens gathered for annual summit on safety and wellness.

County Redistricting Measures Head to Ballot

Voters will decide on a commission to change supervisor district boundaries.