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Man accused in stabbing death in court Wednesday

A 19-year-old Santa Rosa man will be arraigned Wednesday in connection with the stabbing death of a young man during what police called a gang dispute.

Raul Vega was arrested late Monday on suspicion of murder with gang enhancements for both being a gang member and acting to benefit a street gang, court records show.

A fight erupted Saturday evening between Vega and Juan Carlos Angel-Esparza, 20, on the grounds of Kawana Elementary School, Santa Rosa police officials said.

Angel-Esparza was stabbed several times and died from a direct stab to his heart, police said.

The young men were believed to be members of rival subsets of a gang, Sgt. Steve Fraga said.

Vega was convicted in November of driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent as a minor, court files show.

Vega will appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in Department 9.

- Julie Johnson


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