A grand jury has indicted four Lake County residents on murder charges even though they were not at the scene of the victim's death, in a head-on vehicle collision with a Lake County sheriff's deputy.
The defendants triggered the crash when they conducted and fled a home invasion robbery on Oct. 3 near Lower Lake, said Lake County Deputy District Attorney Sharon Lerman-Hubert.
“If it weren't for them and their actions on that day, the victim would still be alive,” she said of the defendants.
Gabriela Rivas Garcia, 26, of Clearlake, was killed in the head-on crash with Lake County Dep. Scott Lewis, who was responding to the home invasion, Lerman-Hubert said.
Santa Rosa defense attorney Evan Zelig said it's a stretch to blame the fatal crash on his client, Jesse Gilbert Moncivaiz, 29, and the other three defendants.
He plans to file a motion to dismiss the indictment against his client.
The indictments were issued Friday against Clearlake residents Moncivaiz, Robert Conaster, 38, Angelita Jeanette Raffa, 28, and Lauren Astor Faumuina, 20, of Hidden Valley Lake. The four are being held in the Lake County jail on $1 million bail each.
The grand jury additionally indicted Conaster for unlawful discharge of a weapon. The defendants earlier were charged with crimes that include robbery, burglary and conspiracy.
No charges have been filed at this time against Lewis, who was seriously injured in the crash, Lerman-Hubert said.
The CHP has not yet concluded its investigation into the accident, she said. When it's completed, the District Attorney's Office will review their findings and submit charges if warranted.
Meanwhile, Garcia's family has filed a claim against the county in connection with her death.
On the morning of the incident, a caller reported that two men and two women had entered a home in the 9800 block of Rocky Creek Road and beaten, robbed and shot at a man inside before fleeing, authorities said.