Things That Matter

California Groomed Killed At His Own Wedding By Alleged Party Crashers

A Chino, California groom was beaten to death by two uninvited men that crashed his wedding reception. Joe Melgoza was attending his reception which started Saturday evening and went on until Sunday morning. The party was held in his sister’s backyard.

When two wedding crashers showed up, 30-year-old Melgoza tried to fight them off. The brawl would result in Melgoza’s death from a blunt force head trauma, according to NBC News. Now his family is mourning during what should have been a wonderful time in Melgoza’s life.

Two strangers crash Melgoza’s wedding.

Police identified the two men as brothers Rony and Josue Castañeda Ramirez. They didn’t know the groom but lived in the neighborhood. There was some confusion at first because it was a wedding reception with two massive families. 

Because it was such a big party and it was two big families, we just assumed that somebody knew them because they were right there among us,” Velasquez told Oxygen.com.

The brothers were eventually asked to leave and they did. But they came back to the reception armed with bats. 

“Those cowards came back with bats. They were in the alley and it was dark… My brother tried to go get them. They pulled him into the house and they killed him,” Andy Velasquez, Melgoza’s brother, told NBC. 

The groom’s family believes he was just trying to protect his family from the invaders when he and his brother-in-law chased them into a dark alley. 

“They were in the alley and it was dark,” Velasquez told NBC. “My brother tried to go get them.”

Police responded to a fight at 2:20 AM on Sunday morning, according to CBS News. When they arrived, officers found a huge crowd and the two alleged attackers. 

When police heard of another victim that was missing, authorities discovered Melgoza’s body in the backyard of a different home. 

The victim, later identified as 30-year-old Joe Steven Melgoza, suffered blunt force trauma to his head. Officers began life-saving efforts, and Melgoza was transported to Chino Valley Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries,” the Chino police said in a statement. 

The brothers have been arrested by law enforcement.

The two men were arrested on suspicion of murder and are being held without bail. According to Oxygen, who reviewed the criminal complaint, they both have been charged with first-degree murder and two accounts of assault with a deadly weapon.

“They don’t have any relationship to the victim or anybody else at the reception,” Sgt. Dustin Tomicic told Oxygen.com.

Melgoza leaves behind his siblings, widow, and 11-year-old daughter. Melgoza had full custody of his daughter who will now be cared for by her grandmother and siblings. 

“You could see it in his face, how happy he was,” his widow said.  “Just the way he looked at me all day.”

Velasquez told Oxygen that he was heartbroken he didn’t get to say goodbye to Melgoza, his last words to his brother were, “You know I got you forever, bro, you know this.” The family has started a GoFundMe page for the father’s funeral services.

“He always had a way to make you smile. He was there for you at any time to give a helping hand. He was taken from us in such a tragic and horrific way,” Melgoza’s cousin Alice Alvarez wrote on the GoFundMe page. “He leaves behind his daughter Lilly who will be in good hands with Joe’s family. We are asking for your support in this time for Joe’s services and for his little girl Lilly. Isela, Joe’s mom is devastated, heartbroken and is having a hard time processing it all.” 

Strangers chip in to support Melgoza’s family.

The fundraiser has surpassed its $20,000 goal with $30,973 from 817 donors thus far. It’s been shared over 3.3 thousand times. 

I do not know Mr. Melgoza or his family, but I read his story and I want to help. I’m so sorry for this terrible tragedy. I hope this small donation helps. He seems like a wonderful father and husband. My sincerest condolences to the family,” one donor named Pat Geil said on the GoFundMe page. 

Melgoza started dating his widow Esther Bustamente just a year before the wedding, but they had known each other for a decade. The family told Oxygen the wedding was beautiful up until the tragic end. 

“He showed me how to be a man, how to be a father, how to work hard, how to be responsible. I don’t know what I’m going to do without my brother. He was there for me, always. He guided me through everything,” Velasquez said.

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A 13-Year-Old Boy Was Shot Point-Blank, Unprovoked In His Front Yard; His Family Demands Answers From Police

Things That Matter

A 13-Year-Old Boy Was Shot Point-Blank, Unprovoked In His Front Yard; His Family Demands Answers From Police

Brayan Zavala/Photo: GOFUNDME

A family in Riverdale of Clayton County, Georgia is expressing frustration at the lack of progress the police have made in finding the killer of 13-year-old son Brayan Zavala. “We want justice,” said Brayan’s 16-year-old brother, Jesus. “We want to find whoever killed my brother so he can go to jail and pay for what he did.”

According to the deceased boy’s family, last Thursday, Brayan had been working on the front lawn with his brother and father when a masked gunman approached the property. The gunman didn’t answer when Brayan’s father asked him what he wanted. Instead, unprovoked, the stranger took out his shotgun and shot Brayan at point-blank range in the face. Stunned, the family tried to fight for Brayan’s life as the gunman fled the scene.

“The shooter didn’t even say I want your money, or this is a robbery or I’m assaulting you. He just came, stood there (in) silence and shot my brother.” his 16-year-old brother, Jesus, explained to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “We tried to stop all the blood but by the time the police got here, it didn’t seem like he had life or a chance to live.”

The children of Mexican immigrants, the death is especially tragic. “We decided to live here for a better life, turns out it is worse,” Jesus told local news station Fox 5. “This is just like Mexico. They kill because they wanna kill. That is what just happens.”

According to Jesus, Brayan was a A-student on the honor roll, always trying to stay out of trouble. “Me, my brother, my sister, we study and then do our chores, and study. We’re just focused on doing the things, you know, productivity. And going somewhere,” said Jesus told local news station Fox 5.

“He was a cheerful kid. Always smiling, joking. Like I said, always avoiding problems instead of causing problems. I don’t know why this happened to him.”

The senseless killing has shaken the community who don’t understand what would provoke an inexplicable murder of a child. Law enforcement, as well, can’t make sense of it.

“As a Clayton County police officer for over 38 years very little shocks me. But, this brutal, senseless murder has overwhelmed me,” a Clayton County Police officer named Doug Jewett wrote to the AJC. “I send my prayers to the family.”

As of now, the family is trying to pick up the pieces of their life, setting up a GoFundMe page to finance Brayan’s funeral costs. The Clayton County police department has asked anyone with information to call (770) 477-4479. As of now, no suspects have been reported or arrested, and the family is calling for justice.

“It’s been a week now since my brother died and I haven’t heard anything, no answers from police,” Jesus told Atlanta 11 Alive news. “It makes me feel really frustrated that they don’t think it’s a big deal. I mean, they killed my little brother.”

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Alleged DUI Driver Kills A Pregnant Latina

Entertainment

Alleged DUI Driver Kills A Pregnant Latina

Joe Raedle / Getty

Twenty-three-year-old Yesenia Lisette Aguilar was preparing to welcome a new life into her life with her husband this year. Last week she was killed by an alleged drunk driver while the couple was walking down a sidewalk in Anaheim, California.

Aguilar and her husband James Alvarez were walking in Anaheim last week when she was struck by an alleged drunk driver.

A Jeep SUV driven by Courtney Pandolfi, aged 40, jumped the curb of a sidewalk and drove along it before hitting Aguilar. The car narrowly missed James who said that when his wife was struck they were holding hands. At the time of her death worked as a cast member at Disneyland and was nearly 35 weeks pregnant.

Soon after the incident, Aguilar was rushed to the hospital at UCI Medical Center. There, doctors declared her dead and then delivered her baby via cesarean section. Currently, Aguilar’s newborn baby girl, Adalyn Rose, is in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. She is in critical condition.

Speaking about his wife’s tragic death, Alvarez told KTLA, “It’s like I’m living a nightmare and I’m hoping to wake up soon. But I’m accepting the reality is she’s gone. And my daughter is the only thing that I have left.”

Pandolfi has been detained on single counts of vehicular manslaughter, felony driving under the influence, and driving on a suspended license.

Pandolfi was also taken to the same hospital but for minor injuries.

Soon after her detainment, Pandolfi’s charges were upgraded to murder and felony driving under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury. According to People, police confirmed that this is not Pandolfi’s first DUI arrest. She has previously been convicted of DUIs in 2008, 2015, and 2016. She is currently being held in Anaheim on a $1 million bail.

Speaking about his wife, Alvarez shared that their newborn had very much been wanted by his wife.

“We’ve been trying for two years, and finally, we’re blessed to have a beautiful princess, and we’re a month away from her birth. And all of a sudden, out of a second, my life changed,” he said. “I’m just praying that she is healthy. She’s the last thing I have from her.”

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