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Suspect in Loera murder not charged
A man arrested in connection with a December murder will remain in the Yuma County Detention Center even though he was not formally charged at a court appearance Tuesday.
The state of Arizona did not charge Cesar Angulo Jr. in connection with the murder of Joseph Loera within 48 hours of his initial appearance. The victim's mother expressed disappointment at the outcome.
"(The Yuma Police Department) came in with their report, and reviewed the report with the attorney's office. It was agreed that further investigation and follow-up would be necessary (before charges were filed)," said Jon Smith, Yuma County Attorney.
Had Angulo not been facing other non-related charges, he would have been released from jail. Those unrelated charges include two probation violations, criminal trespassing and a warrant for failure to pay a fine.
Angulo, 30, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of second-degree murder following the shooting death of Joseph Loera on Dec. 20 near 15th Street and 9th Avenue in Yuma.
The Yuma Police Department arrested Angulo at 2724 W. 26th Lane along with Alesha Ahlquist, 19, and Tara Contreras, 22, who were detained on suspicion of hindering the prosecution of a second-degree murder.
Both women were scheduled to be released Tuesday on the order of Judge Manuel Figueroa because they did not face any other criminal charges.
Joseph Loera's mother, Tilia, said she was disappointed no charges were filed against Angulo.
"It is hard for me to ask or beg for justice. I have to cry; well, I cry because I feel it. They took away my son," she said.
"I know there are good people working on the case, but the time passes very slowly. I have a lot of faith in the detectives of this case because they are doing their best, but sometimes time doesn't help us. I need help from anybody. Real information about what happened that night."
Tilia spoke fondly of her son after the hearing Tuesday.
"I don't think my son deserved any of this. He was peaceful and happy all the time," she said. "He was always telling jokes and hugging me. He wanted his own family, but now he doesn't have any chance because they took it away. I miss him a lot. I miss his laughing, and the way he made jokes about me and when he told me he loved me a lot."
Tilia is still trying to find a reason for her son's death.
"My son had a lot of compassion for people," she said. "I don't understand why anybody would kill him. Why him?"
Since Loera died a few days before Christmas, he wasn't able to give his mother a present she was very excited about.
"His Christmas present to me this year was to have his tattoos removed," Tilia said. "That made me happy because I don't like tattoos. He looked like a gangster but he wasn't. Forget about the look, he was very sweet."
Tilia is a religious woman, and believes her son has gone on to a better place.
"I think he is in heaven now," she said. "After the funeral we went to the church to say a last good-bye. There was a beautiful bright light on his casket."
Tilia said the light was not coming from any traditional source, and added it couldn't have been sunlight because it was a cloudy day.
"It was God’s light. I keep that in my heart because I know he is in heaven."
Figueroa said even though no charges had been filed against Angulo in the case as of the hearing Tuesday, the state can still file them at a later date.
YPD asks anyone with further information about the case to call 783-4421 or 78-CRIME to remain anonymous.
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.