Original article no longer available
Ex-husband charged with murder
Services set for shooting victim
August 05, 2011 8:10 AM
By RICK ELKINS
Emigdio Guzman Ojeda was officially charged with first-degree murder Thursday in his first court appearance since he allegedly fatally shot his ex-wife Tuesday in Porterville.
Ojeda was arraigned in the Pre-Trial Jail Facility courtroom at the county jail complex north of Visalia.
He is charged with shooting to death his ex-wife outside of her home. The shooting occurred just after noon on Tuesday.
Assistant District Attorney Tim Ward explained Ojeda faces 50 years to life in prison. The murder charge does carry two special allegations, both dealing with the use of a firearm, but no special circumstances that would make it a capital case.
“This is not a death penalty case,” he said.
In addition to the murder charge, Ojeda, also 48, faces three misdemeanor counts. They are unlawful possession of a gun; resisting arrest and violation of a restraining order. Ward said the restraining order was the result of a previous criminal case, but could not give specifics.
It could have been a restraining order prohibiting him from being near his ex-wife or someone else at that location.
Officials said the ex-wife, Flor Sanchez, 48 of Porterville, was shot more than once and that she died from a gunshot wound to the chest. She was pronounced dead at Sierra View District Hospital soon after arrival. The Sheriff’s office said the victim, who was first identified as Flor Ojeda, had changed her name back to Flor Sanchez.
Mother of three
Sanchez was a mother of three who loved Porterville, said her boss, Carolyn Rose of CSET.
Ojeda was a job coach at the Porterville CSET office. She had gone home for lunch on Tuesday when she was gunned down.
“What a great person to do that job (job coach),” said Rose. You couldn’t know a more caring person than Flor,” she added.
Sanchez had three children, the youngest a teenage son, all by a previous marriage.
She had worked for CSET for about seven years, said Rose, working in Tulare for a while but she loved working in Porterville. “It was her town,” said Rose.
She also said Sanchez was a very positive person, someone with the right personality to coach those down and out of work. “People say they never heard her say anything negative about anything,” said Rose.
Counselors have been brought in to the Porterville office on West Henderson Avenue.
“Staff are quite broken up. She was truly loved. They want to be together and they want to honor Flor,” she said.
Rose said a Rosary will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at Myers Funeral Chapel with a funeral service for 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Believer’s Church.
She added Sanchez’ death has had a big impact on the office.
“Just a beautiful person. Some people called her our sunshine,” said Rose.
Suspect remains in custody
He remains in custody after being denied bail. Because it is a TCSD case, it will be handled in the Visalia court, so Ojeda’s next appearance for a preliminary conference. A court date was set but that date wasn’t immediately available.
Following the shooting, Ojeda fled to his home just a block away at the corner of Henderson Avenue and Woods Street. Tulare County Sheriff’s Department officers and Porterville Police surrounded the house and closed Henderson Avenue for more than two hours as they tried to talk the man out.
Finally, at 2:18 p.m., he opened the front door and exited.
Family or friends of the victim reportedly wrestled with the gunman following the shooting, but he broke free and ran to his house.
The couple reportedly divorced about six months ago and acquaintances of the suspect said he had been under medication for depression. Others described him as a happy, easy going man, someone they would not expect to kill anyone.