In his first major act as the new Santa Barbara District Attorney, John Savrnoch announced murder charges on four men arrested last week in connection with the murder of an innocent bystander near Stearns Wharf on December 9, 2022.
According to the charging documents, the four men — 22-year-old Jiram Tenorio Ramon, 20-year-old Ricardo Tomas Jauregui-Moreno Jr., 21-year-old Christopher Dave Miranda, and 21-year-old James Lee Rosborough — were driving on Stearns Wharf when they “verbally challenged a group of pedestrians,” stopped their vehicle with the purpose of “deploying two of their party to attack the group of pedestrians with a firearm,” and then shot at the group of pedestrians. The alleged shooters missed the group and hit 52-year-old Camarillo resident Robert Dion Gutierrez, an innocent bystander who was standing nearby on the corner of Cabrillo Boulevard.
Two of the men fled on foot, while the other two took off in the vehicle before later returning to the location of the murder, according to the documents, “to extract those who fled on foot to avoid apprehension.”
Gutierrez was transported to the hospital, where he died 11 days later on December 20. All four were arrested, along with a 16-year-old juvenile, in a coordinated effort between several local agencies on January 19 following an investigation by Santa Barbara Police detectives.
Tenorio Ramon is charged with murder, with the special circumstance of committing the act “to benefit a criminal street gang,” criminal conspiracy to commit murder, and criminal street gang conspiracy. He is the only member of the group to be charged specifically with the special allegation of personal use of a firearm causing death and is alleged to be the individual who fired the weapon that killed Gutierrez.
Jauregui-Moreno and Miranda are charged with murder, also with special allegations of committing the murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang, conspiracy to commit murder, criminal street gang conspiracy, and “principal use of a handgun” — which is a charge for individuals who were with another person who used a weapon in a crime.
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Rosborough is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, criminal street gang conspiracy, and accessory after the fact, with the special allegation of committing the crime for the benefit of a criminal street gang.
According to the documents, the group allegedly unlawfully conspired together, “and with another person and persons whose identity is unknown,” to commit the murder for the express benefit of a Westside Santa Barbara gang, “with the specific intent to promote, or further, or assist in criminal conduct by gang members.” The District Attorney will also seek all applicable “aggravating factors,” as the crime showed a “high degree of cruelty, viciousness, or callousness,” a particularly vulnerable victim, and violence that “indicates a serious danger to society.”
The four defendants appeared in Santa Barbara Superior Court Tuesday morning, January 23. Jauregui will return on February 1 for appointment of counsel, and Miranda will appear for a bail hearing on the same date. The other two defendants continued their arraignments to February 17.
Gutierrez’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with some of the financial burden.
“This tragedy has come as a shock to all of us, and the grief and sorrow from the loss of Robert is incomprehensible for the Gutierrez family,” the family wrote on the website. “Robert was our friend, and he was the rock that his entire family leaned on. His love for his family shone so bright, and he was one of the kindest people any of us will be privileged to know. Robert was funny, charming, and his warmth radiated whenever he was in the room. We will miss him more than we can express.”
Gutierrez worked in assisted living and memory care, most recently serving as the Executive Director at Clearwater Living at Glendora. According to a biography on the website of his previous employer, Aasta Assisted Living of Camarillo, Gutierrez worked in healthcare for the past decade, and said he was inspired to work in assisted living by his grandmother.
“As a young child, I was influenced by my grandmother who tirelessly cleaned patient rooms in a convalescent home,” Gutierrez is quoted as saying in the biography. “My grandmother taught me to serve others with dignity and respect no matter their background or title.”
In addition to his career in assisted living, family and friends said he was often volunteering at Padre Serra Catholic Church, helping coach a youth soccer team, and spending time with his wife, Gerallie, and their two daughters, Ariana and Carisa.
Funeral services are planned for 11 a.m. on Wednesday, January 24, at Padre Serra Parish in Camarillo, followed by a burial at Conejo Mountain Memorial Park and a celebration of life at the parish center.