The Independent has learned that Rudy Gallegos, the first male suspect arrested for the April 15 murder of Robert Burke Simpson at Hendry’s Beach, was released from Santa Barbara County Jail sometime this morning. The 20-year-old, who was arrested on Sunday and was immediately assumed by the public and media to be the stabber in the case, may also have his homicide charges dropped.
Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars could not confirm this information, as he was busy putting together a press conference he hopes will happen later today. But he directed The Independent to the county jail’s custody records department, and a woman there did confirm that Gallegos is no longer in custody. He is reportedly due in Santa Barbara Superior Court anytime now.
Gallegos’s release follows the fourth homicide-related arrest, that of Adrian Robles, 21, who authorities found at a home in Ventura on Tuesday night. Of the two other suspects, Brittany Weiler, 19, and a 17-year-old juvenile, Weiler remains in custody at the county jail but The Independent was unable to check on the unnamed juvenile.
Meanwhile, friends and family of the victim Robert Simpson, known to some as Rob and others as Bobby-I, will be holding a paddle-out in his memory this Saturday, April 24, at Hendry’s Beach starting at around 9:30 a.m. All are invited to celebrate his life.
UPDATED, 9:40 a.m.: Senior deputy District Attorney Hilary Dozer has confirmed that charges will not be filed against Gallegos and that Robles is believed to be the stabber of Simpson.
“We brought in witnesses for a physical lineup that confirmed investigation indicators that Adrian Robles was the stabber,” said Dozer this morning.
Gallegos was released from jail last night, said Dozer, explaining, “The decision was based upon the investigation by the Sheriff’s Department and an agreement by investigators in the District Attorney’s offices.”