The arraignment of an Olivehurst man charged with a 2017 murder was continued to next week after the defendant’s hired private council requested Thursday’s hearing in Yuba County Superior Court be delayed.
Ruben Blajos, 26, was arrested by detectives from the Marysville Police Department on Wednesday at approximately 11:30 a.m. on suspicion of murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The arrest was made in the 4600 block of Bernice Ave., Marysville, believed to be Blajos’ place of employment, said Police Chief Christian Sachs.
The arrest was in connection to the shooting death of Jesse Becerra, 26, on Oct. 28, 2017 in the 1300 block of Yuba St., Marysville.
“It’s a relief that someone is finally getting held accountable for it,” said Debbie Duncan, Becerra’s grandmother. “It’s been pure hell for our family these last two years.”
Becerra was shot at least twice–once in the face– near the parking lot of a closed retail store at 11:16 p.m. He was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to Appeal-Democrat records.
In November of 2017, police determined that the shooting was not a random act and said it was looking into several people of interest. Witnesses informed police that after hearing shots fired on Oct. 28, three unidentified men were seen running from the scene, according to Appeal-Democrat records.
On Thursday, Sachs did not disclose the circumstances around Blajos being identified as a suspect or any new information about the case due to it still being under investigation.
Court documents described how investigators worked to identify the three men witnesses saw leaving the scene of the shooting. Three men, including Blajos, were identified in the documents as suspects in Becerra’s murder.
Surveillance camera footage, confidential informant information and Facebook messages between the girlfriend of one of the suspects and a member of Becerra’s family were used to identify Blajos as the lead suspect. The investigation determined that Becerra and Blajos were affiliated with two rival gangs and that Becerra’s murder was gang-related, according to court documents.
Facebook messages between one of the suspect’s girlfriend and a family member of Becerra mentioned that Becerra and Blajos had been in a fight prior to Becerra’s death and that he had been romantically involved with Blajos’ girlfriend.
Duncan said detective Joe Leibman took over the case about a year ago and kept the family informed as the investigation unfolded. She said the family met with police Wednesday night and were told an arrest had been made.
“We’re all still kind of in shock,” Duncan said. “A big weight has been lifted off our hearts.”
Blajos is being held at Yuba County Jail on $1,050,000 bail. A $50,000 gang enhancement was added to the $1 million bail amount for his murder charge, according to his booking sheet from the Yuba County Sheriff’s Office.
Blajos’ arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. at Yuba County Superior Court.